Kerala government amends order to justify action against teachers from Changanassery

While listing out various reasons for the transfer of the teachers on June 25, the order by the DGE contained a reference that Changanassery MLA Job Maichil had demanded that the teachers were “not taking classes properly” and they “need to be transferred”.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The row over the ‘punishment’ transfer of five women teachers of a government school in Changanassery to various districts in northern Kerala, has turned murkier with the government hastily amending its earlier order to remove references that would imply that the action was taken allegedly due to political pressure.

While listing out various reasons for the transfer of the teachers on June 25, the order by the Director of General Education (DGE) contained a reference that Changanassery MLA Job Maichil had demanded that the teachers were “not taking classes properly” and they “need to be transferred”. This was mentioned in the report submitted by the Regional Deputy Director (Higher Secondary), Kottayam, and was part of the transfer order.

The initial transfer order of the DGE also had references indicating that the MLA intervened in the day-to-day functioning of the school, including in deciding the timetable for extra classes. The alleged non-cooperation on the part of teachers to conduct extra classes so as to improve the school results and a few students’ “complaints” that they could not follow the classes, were cited as the reasons for the transfer.

As per the initial transfer order, teachers handling English, Physics, Commerce, Botany and Hindi subjects had “collectively ignored the directions of MLA Job Maichil and functionaries of the School Management Committee (SMC) and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).” The order also cited that the five teachers had not cooperated with “measures to improve the results of their respective subjects.”

After the transfers turned controversial, the DGE has issued a new order removing all references to the MLA in the entire episode. Other remarks that the teachers were found “sleeping in the staff room” and that they indulged in “activities unbecoming of the teacher’s post” were also removed. This was done to allegedly ward off adverse strictures from the court as the teachers have reportedly decided to take legal recourse against the order.

“If falling results are the reason for the disciplinary action, then in-service training should be carried out for the teachers instead of transferring them to far-off districts,” opined Abdul Jaleel Panakkad, a senior functionary of the Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers’ Union.

Meanwhile, the school results have shown 100% pass for Hindi, 76% for Biology, 74% for Physics, 73% for Accountancy and 69% for English. While the teachers handling these subjects were transferred, Mathematics, handled by the principal, had registered the lowest success rate of 48%.

While three teachers were transferred to Wayanad, the other two were shifted to Kannur and Kozhikode respectively. The transfer has already evoked protests from the schools to where they were shifted as the action was seen as using districts in Malabar as centres for rehabilitating teachers against whom disciplinary action has been taken.

Teacher had approached women’s panel

One of the teachers who was transferred had earlier approached the Kerala Women’s Commission against the alleged ‘misuse’ of feed from CCTV cameras in the staff room. The panel had directed the school to remove the cameras as it was an infringement on the privacy of woman teachers. The episode reportedly caused embarrassment to the PTA and the principal.

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