Assembly passes Bill to streamline teacher transfers

Karnataka Assembly passes Bill to streamline teacher transfers

S Suresh Kumar

The Legislative Assembly on Monday passed a Bill that promises to simplify and streamline the process of transferring government school teachers. 

The Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) Bill provides “options and flexibility to teachers to seek postings of their preference.” 

According to Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, the Bill specifies a minimum three years of service in a school for a teacher to seek transfer. Women teachers aged 50 and above and males aged 55 and above will get exemption from or priority in transfers, he said. The Bill also exempts teachers from transfers if they or their dependents suffer from any disability. 

“The big challenge I faced after becoming the education minister was the compulsory transfer system. People asked me why there are compulsory transfers, given that compulsory retirement or leave are considered to be a form of punishment,” Kumar said, piloting the Bill. “There was a lot of pain and I wanted to give it some form.” 

Kumar said he had requested Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa initially to appoint a separate minister to handle transfers. “Transfer is an industry. I think it’s the biggest in the state.” 

The Bill, Kumar said, was teacher-friendly, pro-education and in the interest of students. “Earlier, the same set of teachers kept getting transferred,” he said. “There’s something called rationalisation, where excess teachers are transferred. Then, there’s the natural transfers. This will now be done in alternate years - rationalisation in one year and the zonal transfers the next,” he said. 

The newly recruited teachers will be compulsorily posted in villages, the minister said. “After serving there for 10 years, they will be brought to the cities.” 

The Bill will now be discussed in the Legislative Council. “The urgency for this Bill is that we want to be done with transfers in April-May and not in June-July when classes start,” Kumar said.

During the debate on the Bill, Kumar said a mobile app will be introduced to remove human interference while teachers approach officials with grievances. 

Karnataka is facing a shortage of 30,000 teachers, Kumar said. "In the next three years, 24,000 teachers will retire. We tried recruiting 10,650 teachers, but only 2,200 were selected in the exam. We're working to get another 8,500 teachers," he said. 

 

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