Chandigarh education department revokes termination notices of three teachers

Chandigarh August 4 AFTER A month of protests and numerous representations by teachers’ bodies to the education secretary as well as local politicians, the UT education department has revoked the termination notices of three teachers, cancelled the termination of a contract teacher and reinstated two suspended school heads on Friday.

Last month, the department served termination, suspension and show cause notices to teachers, heads and principals for poor results in the Class X CBSE board exam.

Jaspreet Kaur of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 25, Pawan of GMSSS-38 (West) and Varinder from GMSSS-Khuda Ali Sher were all asked to return to work. Pawan and Varinder are employed under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

Nirmal Singh, head of Government High School, Sector 38, and Satpal Singh, head, Government Model High School, Sector 11, were also reinstated after a month of suspension.

The show cause notice served to 56 teachers, however, is yet to be revoked.

Education Secretary B L Sharma said, “Yes, we have revoked the termination notices and reinstated the suspended school heads. The order has been issued. We never intended to take anyone’s job, but we wanted to send out a message that action can be taken if teachers underperform.”

Sharma added that the teachers have submitted an undertaking stating that they would ensure results above 75 per cent. Teachers were up in arms against the education department for the action taken against them, blaming officials for allowing grace marks and numerous violations of the RTE Act at government schools.

Teachers’ bodies, including Joint Action Committee of UT Teachers and SSA Teachers’ Welfare Association (SSATWA), also submitted representations to local MP Kirron Kher who spoke to Sharma and other officials too.

When asked if Sharma had bowed to pressure from the MP, he said, “It had nothing to do with pressure. But yes, I had earlier told Kirron Kher that we want to take strict action against underperforming teachers.”

Kher refused to comment, stating that she was in Parliament. However, she added that she was aware that the order to revoke the notices had been issued.

Arvind Rana, President, SSATWA, said, “I want to thank the education secretary as well as Kirron Kher for considering our cause. I am very happy with the decision.”