After years of excruciating wait, Rani Kumari will finally land a permanent job in February when the Nitish Kumar government appoints 34,540 trained teachers on regular pay scale in keeping with the Supreme Court’s directive.
But her joy will be short-lived. She will retire just a month later, on March 2, when she turns 60, the retirement age for school teachers in Bihar. On March 5, another recruit, Dani Mahto, will also retire because of the same reason.
Rani and Dani are among many 59-year-old job aspirants who will superannuate within months of joining the service as government teachers. There are others too, who will retire before completing one year in service – including Sushila Devi (who will retire on March 12), Kashinath Yadav (April 6), Tarika Devi (April 10), among others.
But they should still consider themselves lucky. The Bihar education department officials say nearly 600 aspirants, who would turn 60 before January 31, 2012 – the cut-off date set by the SC – would not get jobs at all. The SC had told the state government not to consider cases of persons who would turn 60 by January 31 next year.
The education department has now posted on its website, the list of the 34,540 candidates, including 4,827 Urdu teachers and 1,113 physical training instructors, who will get the appointments soon.
The appointments follow a prolonged legal battle between the job seekers and the state government which began in 2003, when the RJD was in power. The erstwhile government had advertised vacancies for 34,540 primary teachers but proceeded to appoint untrained teachers. Though there were 1.23 lakh applicants, around 29,000 candidates were rejected by the Staff Selection Commission after scrutiny.
The trained teachers challenged the eligibility criterion in the Patna High Court, which subsequently asked the state government to appoint only trained B.Ed teachers. The government appealed against the ruling in the SC. In 2007, the Nitish Kumar government promised in the SC that it would absorb all the trained teachers as more vacancies were available.
But when it started appointing the teachers on a contractual basis on a consolidated salary, the trained teachers moved the SC and demanded that they be appointed on a permanent basis with the prescribed pay scale. The SC again ruled in their favour.
The Bihar government last week conducted the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) to select suitable candidates for the job. But it is going ahead with the appointment of trained teachers, howsoever aged, first.
Courtesy: India Today