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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Even though bogus teachers are dime a dozen in various schools across Odisha, very little has been done to weed them out as the State government ordered probes prove to be ineffective. 

As per reports, hundreds of fraud teachers are playing with the future of the children by securing seats in schools in the State by submitting fake caste, residential, educational and all sorts of other certificates. But what has helped them the most is improper verification of their documents.

While this has seriously hit the education delivery system in the State, it has deprived actual degree holders of getting appointment as teachers.
A number of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) filed in the Orissa High Court in this regard has prompted the apex court to direct the government to take necessary measures and remove the fraudulent teachers. 

The School and Mass Education Department also pulled up its socks following the HC order, however, it seems a distant past, but the department has not been able to make any substantial progress in this direction. 

Sources said the High Court has now rapped the State government and issued a directive to expedite the probe and take necessary action against the fake teachers.

The Directorate of Elementary Education has issued letters to as many as 23 District Education Officers (DEOs) including Khordha, Cuttack, Sambalpur and Bhadrak while directing them to accelerate the process of identifying the fake teachers in their respective districts. They have also been reprimanded for strong actions in case of delay in the process.

“We have been directed by the department to identify the fake teachers in our district on priority basis and some of them have also been identified. FIRs have also been lodged against them. I have asked the Block Education Officers (BEOs) to expedite the process of identification,” said Kapilendra Mishra, DEO of Bhadrak.

Meanwhile the development has raised serious question marks over the transparency and integrity of the department in the recruitment process.
“Initially there was not much clue about the appointment of fake teachers with the submission of fake certificates. But after getting some complaints in this regard, their educational qualification was verified from the universities and subsequently the real picture came to the light,” said Krushna Mohan Singh, District Science Invigilator, Balasore.

The issue of mushrooming fraud teachers has always brewed resentment among the eligible candidates who are aspiring to take up careers in the education sector. 

While educationists have pointed fingers at a nexus between fake teachers and hands in the government machinery, the government has assured strong action against fraudulent teachers and erring officials of the department.

“The fake teachers might have been in the service for long time. Their certificates were not verified properly. However, the State government has issued orders to all the DEOs and BEOs to expedite the process of identifying them. Strong action will be taken against such bogus teachers. The officers will also be punished in case of delay in the identification process,” said School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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