M A I N   N E W S

Fake experience certificates land teachers in trouble
Chitleen K Sethi & Chander Prakash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Gurdaspur, August 7
Punjab education department has asked 560 ‘Teaching Fellows’ recruited this year on a three-and-a-half year contract, to reach the Panjab University campus at Chandigarh in person and explain why they should not be dismissed for submitting fake experience certificates.

Director Public Instructions (Elementary) Dr Sadhu Singh Randhawa said the ‘Teaching Fellows’, so called to differentiate them from regular teachers, had been called to defend themselves on August 11, 12 and 13. “The orders are to dismiss these people unless they come up with a good enough explanation,” he said.

As many as 7,400 ‘Teaching Fellows’ were recruited by the education department during the past six months. The recruitment was done at the district level by selection committees on the basis of minimum prescribed qualification, marks obtained, teaching experience etc.

The merit list was prepared after crediting eight per cent marks for experience and five per cent for candidates from rural areas.

“Majority of the 560 teachers have been found to have given false experience certificates. In some cases, schools where they claimed to have taught, were found to be non-existent. Some schools issued experience certificates to over a hundred candidates each though they did not have even 100 students. In some cases candidates were shown to have taught classes which the schools simply did not have,” said Randhawa.

In Gurdaspur alone, 309 out of the 473 ‘Teaching Fellows’ recruited in November -December 2008 have been found to have submitted fake documents. The scandal came to light when the department undertook a verification of the certificates following complaints.

The verification drive is still on and the number of candidates found guilty is likely to increase. “In some cases they have also submitted fake degrees from black-listed universities and claimed to have teaching experience in them,” added Randhawa.

The role of both screening committees, which short-listed the candidates, and selection committees in districts have come under a cloud. “Action is also being initiated against members of these committees,” said Randhawa.

The education department has also decided to proceed against those schools, which issued fake experience certificates to the candidates. The district level education officers are being asked to register police cases against these schools.

“Other than the schools we would proceed against the district education officers who counter signed the fake certificates,” added Randhawa.



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