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Delhi HC order restraining appointment of guest teachers puts a spanner in ambitious 'Chunauti 2018' programme

The Delhi education department is facing an acute shortage of teachers to operate the 163 National Institute of Open Schooling centres it opened up recently to teach the students who failed their class 10 exams, after the High Court refused to lift the stay on the appointment of guest teachers.

Official sources in the Delhi education department said to Firstpost that these centres need 163 principals, an equal number of vice-principals and teachers for every subject to be taught there. The department planned to fill up nearly 1,000 posts by appointing guest teachers, which has become almost impossible after the Delhi High Court’s order.

“Nearly 10,000 students have already taken admission in the centres. It was also planned to start the classes from 6 November. This now seems difficult to happen,” the source said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The 163 study centres are a part of Delhi education department's flagship programme 'Chunauti 2018', rolled out to curb dropout rates in class 10.The programme aims at helping academically weak students to clear their Class 10 exams by the year 2018.

After the Delhi High Court’s stay order, the Delhi education department has decided to appoint retired teachers in the centres, instead of guest teachers.

“We hope the stay order on appointment of guest teachers does not affect the study centres, as the Education department has decided to appoint retired teachers to run them,” says Shashi Kant Sinha, the nodal officer of ten such centres.

Ashok Agarwal, an education activist said to Firstpost that the government is under tremendous pressure to start these centres as it is under legal compulsion to teach the admitted students.

“There are more than 27,000 vacancies in the positions of teachers. The 925 Delhi government schools are struggling hard to meet the deficit of 15,000 guest teachers. After the judiciary stayed recruitment of guest teachers, the education department faces a shortage of teachers to run the newly opened study centres,” he said.

On Monday, the Delhi education department appealed to the Delhi High Court to lift the stay order on the appointment of 9,000 guest teachers as a stop gap arrangement until regular teachers were appointed, which was turned down.

A bench of the Delhi High Court has rejected the government's contention that due to the stay on the recruitment process, students are suffering as there is an acute shortage of teachers.

Under the Chunauti-2018 programme last year, 62,000 students who failed in class 9 were switched to Patrachar Vidyalaya.

To ensure that these students would find it easier to pass, they were also given some additional flexibility. "They would have the option of dropping subjects like mathematics," the Chunauti-2018 policy said. But this flexibility could not help, because only 2.01 percent of the students who appeared for exams from the Patrachar Vidyalaya could pass.

The education department than decided to shift these students to NIOS and opened up the said study centres.

Official sources informed that out of more than 58,000 students who were expected to enrol, only 10,000 students have taken admission in NIOS through their schools.
To provide them with special classes in these 163 study centres and 34 nodal centres throughout Delhi, a budget of Rs 2.64 crores was also allotted for this project. After the Delhi High Court’s stay on recruitment of guest teachers, the project seems to have faced a jolt.

Updated Date: Nov 04, 2017 18:51 PM

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