Teachers should teach instead of sloganeering: Education secretary

New Delhi July 11   TEACHERS GET good salaries and all the benefits of a government job; the least they could do is teach instead of sloganeering, said Education Secretary B L Sharma. On Tuesday, officials of the UT education department held a press conference where they highlighted the poor Class 10 CBSE results and teachers’ protests against termination, suspension and show-cause notices.

In the coming weeks, however, the UT education department will hold meetings with principals, school heads and teachers to come up with solutions to improve board examination results.

“How can we explain such poor results in a city like Chandigarh that has all the comfort, great infrastructure in the schools? Is a pass percentage below 50 per cent acceptable?” asked Sharma. The department shared information on the “disciplinary” action taken against principals, school heads and teachers. One principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Karsan, was suspended for less than 20 per cent result in Class 12.

In Class 10, four school heads were suspended for less than 20 per cent. Show-cause notices were served to 26 school heads and three in-charges were transferred to periphery schools as “punishment” for less than 20 per cent result.

Show-cause notices were also served to 60 teachers who have recorded less than 33 per cent result. While two Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers were served one-month termination notice, one contract teacher was terminated and another regular teacher suspended for less than 15 per cent result.

“If the government wants, it can take away all the departments from me. I am ready to suspend my own officials, but who’s going to take stock of teachers’ responsibility? Show-cause notices are just a means to get an explanation from them,” said Sharma.

Sharma also criticised his own department for following “wrong practices” in the past. He added that despite a commendable performance in the National Achievement Survey, Chandigarh has been left behind in the board examination.

“I am strictly against grace marks and I have briefed my department officials that such practices will not be followed in future. Had I been aware of it, I would have done something. In an age where students are getting above 95 per cent, grace marks do not make sense,” he said.

The Education Secretary added that the department was taking corrective measures to change the system. He said Chandigarh was a city of “sifaarish” and policies such as transfer, promotion and seniority were stagnating here.

“I am not at all in favour of permanent employment at one place. We will be looking into transfers with those who have stayed the longest at one place to be moved first. I made the draft seniority list that had been pending since 1990, but not a single person was finalised because even the criteria is disputed,” he added.