Teachers protest over abrupt end to counselling

anxious: Teachers scan the list of vacancies at the State-level counselling for transfers at Shikshakara Sadana in Bangalore  on Monday. dh Photo

The agitation, however, was different in many ways. For, the protesters were practitioners of the honourable profession. Crying foul over the “abrupt end” to the counselling, scores of anxious teachers, seeking transfer of service to their places of choice outside their education division, stormed the well-known auditorium on K G Road for more than four hours. They left the place only when police arrived around 7.15 pm.

The agitators alleged that officials of the Department of Primary and Secondary Education “suddenly ended” the counselling even as a number of seats remained vacant. They also claimed that the officials had “gobbled up” many seats.

P A Halappa, a high school teacher at MLA School, Malleswaram, had applied for transfer to his home district, Chitradurga where his wife is employed in a government school.
According to him, despite putting in 13 years of service, he was yet to get a transfer. The obstacle is that both the schools where the couple work are not government-run.

The case of Ramya K R is a bit different. She has been working at a government primary school in Chikmagalur taluk for the last four years whereas her husband, Pravin, is employed in a private firm in Bangalore. Ramya is seeking transfer to the City.

Like Halappa and Ramya, there were nearly 1,000 teachers who went apprehensive when the counselling was stopped at 3 pm. As many as 2,442 teachers had applied for transfer. Of them, 1,800 were eligible. But only 516 aspirants could sail through. Reason? As per the Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) Act, 2007, only one per cent of teachers in any division of the State can be transferred to another division in a year.

In Bangalore Division which consists of nine districts, there are nearly 51,000 teachers. Hence, the counselling had to be stopped at 516 candidates.  Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, said the government’s hands were “tied” in the matter and nothing could be done about it.

“The counselling was conducted for one per cent of candidates (as prescribed under the said legislation). We understand teachers’ problems, but it’s impossible to transfer more than one perc ent of the applicants,” Kageri told Deccan Herald.

The Minister sought to dispel the myth that all eligible candidates would get a transfer. Success depends on various factors such as seniority, weightage, separation of spouses, etc.

Kageri said that he had explained the position to a delegation of teachers which met him later in the evening. The protesters, however, plan to continue their agitation on Tuesday. Legal recourse is also on the cards.

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