The Odisha government has paved the way for MLAs to recommend names of deserving teachers to the District Collectors for rationalisation of Elementary and Secondary teachers. However, the move by the State government has drawn flack from Opposition parties in the State.
As per the notification issued by the School and Mass Education department, MLAs in Odisha have been authorised to use discretion in recommending 10 most deserving cases among teachers to the concerned District Collector. This rule will be applicable only to primary and secondary teachers. Along with that, this order will be valid for the current academic year only.
In the notification to this effect, the Deputy Secretary to Government, Laxmikanta Acharya has laid out certain conditions which include:
- It should not violate the principle of rationalisation.
- Priority should be given to teachers with urgent needs.
- No teacher should be transferred from rural areas to urban areas.
However, the Opposition is smelling something fishy behind this move as the new rule has been restricted to the current year only. The move has been initiated just a few days before the Panchayat Polls and the teachers will be playing a vital role during the election process.
It seems, the government has plans to become victorious in the Panchayat Polls with the help of the teachers, alleged the Opposition parties.
"The Naveen government has implemented this new rule with an eye on the panchayat elections. They will transfer their teachers as and when required to gain votes. I strongly condemn this move," slammed senior Congress leader Suresh Routray.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Mohan Majhi said, "Empowering the MLAs to transfer teachers is a big issue. Moreover, why is this rule implemented for only one year? To gain positive results in Panchayat Elections, this is a well-planned move by the ruling BJD."
Meanwhile, the ruling Biju Janta Dal (BJD) has clarified that everything will be carried out as per the rules and lashed out at the opposition for making false accusations.
"Though the online procedure for teachers' transfer is in place, MLAs have been granted the authority to recommend 10 teachers for transfer. The MLAs will decide after considering the necessity of the teachers. There is no personal benefit in this," said Samir Dash, School and Mass Education Minister.
Earlier, the Odisha government had introduced the online procedure of applying for transfer of teachers with a view to impede corruption in the process. However, the curbs in the rules have raised questions.
Meanwhile, the Odisha Secondary School Teachers' Association (OSSTA) and staff have expressed concerns that for the promulgation of the new rule, teachers may face political rage which will inadvertently hamper the education of the students. The Association has made demands to authorise District Education Officer and District Education Director apart from MLAs for recommending transfers.
"District Education Officer and District Education Director should also be authorised to recommend transfer of teachers. No teacher should suffer for political considerations as it will have an adverse impact on the system," Prakash Mohanty, Secretary, OSSTA, said.
Nevertheless, politics has gained momentum over the new rule of political intervention in the matter of transfer of teachers.