Regularize us, demand contract English teachers


Over 30 of the 200 contract English primary teachers employed by the state government last year have been camping outside the Customs office in Panaji in protest since the ongoing state legislative assembly session has begun.
Heading the protest, Sudhir Kesarkar said that the teachers are enraged by chief minister Manohar Parrikar's recent statement that there was no assurance of regularizing the services of the contract teachers.
The previous Congress regime headed by Digamber Kamat decided to change the state policy and allow aided primary schools to shift to English medium with government funds continued, leading to a controversy over sidelining of the mother tongue. Parrikar, on assuming power, decided to continue the arrangement until a permanent policy is finalized on the medium of instruction for primary education.
The row led to a debate on the quality of English teachers at the primary level, and the contract teachers were employed in government schools to improve the English language education imparted.
"We gave up our jobs as lecture basis teachers because of the state promise to regularize our services eventually. Now, our contracts have not been renewed and the chief minister has said that the posts will be advertised and the chosen candidates will get the jobs, which will not necessarily be one of these 200 contract teachers," Kesarkar said.
The teachers were paid Rs 15,000 a month when employed on contract. As per the arrangement, the teachers while on contract would divide their time between three neighbouring government primary schools to help improve the students' English language skills.
"The minimum qualification asked for the job was graduation with a bachelors degree in education. But most of the teachers are also postgraduates and highly qualified and already chosen for their skills as contract teachers. We do not see why jobs should not be regularized instead of calling for new applications for the post," Kesarkar said. [TOI]