SC warns against lapses in filling primary teaching jobs

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday said it was concerned with the quality of the primary teacher and warned against a populist approach on appointments that could endanger India’s future.

“It is too serious a matter for us. We are concerned with the future of the country,” said the apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra while hearing a petition by the Gujarat government on the appointment of Shiksha Sahayak (education assistants).

“A populist approach can’t be allowed to destroy the fabric of the education,” Justice Misra observed as court asked the state government to furnish the comparative statement giving the qualification, eligibility criterion and other requirements for the appointment as Vidya Sahayak and the primary teachers

“We want to understand the concept of education and what kind of quality (education) that is being given to them (primary school students),” the court said as senior counsel U.U. Lalit, appearing for the state government, sought to address some e queries raised by the court.

As Lalit told the court that the Sahayaks were assisting the primary school teachers, Justice Chauhan observed: “We all had been to school and had never seen assistant teachers assisting the primary teachers.”

Apparently unimpressed by the submission that initially the Sahayak were appointed on contract and after the expiry of the contract period they were regularised, the court said that they were given the pay scale of primary teachers but were not designated as primary teachers.

“Pay scale and status (as a primary teacher) are two different things,” observed Justice Misra, asking why the Sahayaks were being appointed on contract.

The court would next hear the matter May 27.

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