BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has warned the State Government of stern action for its failure to submit an action taken report on appointment of teachers to meet the requirements in Odisha in time.
The Commission had called for submission of a report showing how many teachers have been appointed as per the Government’s claims of making concerted efforts to meet the shortage in schools. But as there has been an inordinate delay in presenting the facts by the Government, the Commission has warned of invoking the provisions under Section 13 of Protection of Human Rights Act which entails assumption of powers of civil court and adjudicate accordingly.
The Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of an article by P Sainath published in 2011 on the state of schools in Odisha and had sought information from the Government in this connection. The Department of School and Mass Education and Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) had in January, 2014 informed that several initiatives had been taken to recruit teachers at different levels.
There was a shortage of at least 40,760 teachers in the State. There were around 56,030 schools with 1,79,113 teachers in position against a requirement of 2,19,824. In July last year, another report was submitted stating that 5,234 trained and 161 untrained teachers had been recruited for the 14,181 Shiksha Sahayak posts. Besides, 14 OTET qualified and 2,358 non-OTET qualified candidates had been selected against advertisement of 3,500 multi-lingual education (MLE) posts.
Taking the report into account, the Commission on January 12 this year had sought a further report detailing the latest state of affairs within three months. But even though the deadline passed, the Government failed to comply.
With the Commission taking strong exception to the Government indifference, the School and Mass Education Department has finally moved to compile the report on appointments. The Department has asked all district Collectors to submit information on teacher appointments within April 15, which would be submitted to NHRC.