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Middle school teachers in Punjab asked to take classes of high school students

Shortage of teachers in high schools after the mandatory retirement of more than 2,000 teachers in September 2020

Middle school teachers in Punjab asked to take classes of high school students

Representational image Istock

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, November 19

In Punjab middle school teachers have been asked to take classes of high school students. The step has been taken in view of the shortage of teachers for Class IX to XII students after the reopening of schools earlier this month.

After more than 2,000 teachers in high and senior secondary government schools in the state were mandatorily retired on September 30 many of these schools have been facing shortage of teachers. The problem has become acute with the re-opening of schools earlier this month. In order to find a solution to this problem the school education department has asked all District Education Officers (DEOs) to assign the job to the teachers from the nearby elementary schools.

As there were no teachers for some subjects in many high and senior secondary schools after the mandatory retirement of over 2,000 teachers on September 30, as a stop-gap-arrangement the department on Thursday asked the DEOs to put the middle school teachers on duty in high and senior secondary schools.

All high and senior secondary schools in the state were re-opened for Classes IX to XII this month. But all primary and elementary schools are still closed.

In March this year, the state government had ended the policy of optional extension in service period after retirement/superannuation. A large number of teachers in government schools in the state were working on one or two years of extension after their superannuation.

The services of all teachers availing the second year of optional extension in service, or whose second year optional extension was scheduled to start from April 1, 2020, were retired from the service with effect from March 31, 2020.

Similarly, employees on first year of optional extension in service or whose first-year optional extension was scheduled to start in the interregnum period, were retired from  service with effect from September 30, 2020.

Ending the services of these teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic time did not cause much furore as all schools were closed. However, with the reopening of the schools for Class IX to XII students, the shortage of teachers became an issue.

As the middle schools are still closed, so it is better to take the services of many of these teachers for the high and senior secondary schools for the time being, reads a letter of secretary, school education department to all DEOs (secondary) and heads of high and senior secondary government schools.

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