KOCHI: At a time when the state government is thinking of overhauling the education system to convert schools into centres of excellence, the absence of a post for English teachers in government high schools raises questions over the validity of the initiative. The fact that over 270 government high schools in the state do not have a post for an English teacher is disturbing.
According to Reshma Mukundan, a member of the Kerala HSA English Rank Holders’ Forum, the government expresses worry over losing students to unaided and CBSE schools but does not do anything about creating posts and appointing English teachers in its schools.
“All the government has done is to issue an order (GO) in 2002 instructing that only teachers qualified to teach English can be appointed to teach the subject. It included English in the core subject category and appointed teachers based on the number of divisions in high schools. As per the order, only those schools having five divisions in the high school section can appoint an English teacher,” she said. However, in 2003, an order was issued to amend the Kerala Education Rules (KER).
“When KER was amended, English was recognised as a subject and it was decided to allot a post as per the number of periods for the language. But till date, nothing has been done and the rule is yet to be implemented,” said Reshma, who stands first in the PSC rank list. Hence, in government high schools, the language is taught by teachers who have a degree and B.Ed in subjects other than English, she said.
Lijo Jose, another rank holder, said: “All other languages have teachers appointed based on the criterion mentioned in KER. Everything is happening totally against the rules.
As per rules, whenever an amendment is made in KER, it has to be implemented from the date of the said amendment or the one mentioned in the amendment. But staff fixation being done at present is totally against KER. Because of this, even after the PSC rank list has turned a year old, not a single appointment has been made in districts like Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Thrissur. In many other districts, only a few appointments have been made.”
According to another member of the forum, when they approached the DPI tribunal regarding the matter, it dismissed their petition saying the matter has to be solved by the government. Meanwhile, the forum has decided to take out a protest march from the Directorate of Public Instruction to the Secretariat on Wednesday.