Friday, May 24, 2024

DSEL sets up 3-member inquiry commission


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Allegations of use of fake certificate for teachers’ recruitment
in Dadenggre Civil Subdivision


From Our Correspondent

TURA, May 16: Following reports in The Shillong Times over at least two cases of fake certificate holders being given appointments as teachers in government lower primary schools in Dadenggre Civil Subdivision recently, Director of School Literacy and Education, Swapnil Tembe has ordered an inquiry into the report.
The DSEL, in a press release, published in various publications, informed that in view of the serious nature of allegations, a three-member inquiry committee has been ordered to verify the allegations.
The committee will be headed by the District School Education Officer of West Garo Hills and will also comprise the SDSEOs of Tura and Ampati.
The three-member committee besides looking into the two known cases will also look into all successful candidates’ certifications. The committee has been given 25 days to submit its report to the SDEL.
The release was issued on May 15 while the results of the teachers’ recruitment were published on January 10 this year.
Aspiring candidates allege ‘scam’
Earlier, two aspiring teachers unearthed a “scam” in the recent process for the appointment of schoolteachers in the Garo Hills region.
The state government appointed 34 teachers from the unreserved category after completing the due process of interview.
The two aspiring teachers alleged the entire process was biased to favour a few who were eventually appointed. They claimed candidates, who are more qualified than those appointed, were ignored.
Istiak Alom is a MTET and D.El.Ed pass teacher from DIET, Tura and a non-practising lawyer. Alom said questions on the validity of appointment could be raised in the cases  of 32 of the 34 teachers recruited by the SDSEO of Dadenggre.
“Where was the scrutiny of certificates? If as residents of the country we can, through RTI, find out the validity of certificates provided by the candidates, is it not the duty of the Education department to verify these documents?” asked Istiak.
The aspirants said the state government cannot overrule the Supreme Court’s ruling invalidating the 18-month D.El.Ed. course which many aspirants cleared for the jobs.
The apex court had made it clear that the 18-month course is only for in-term teachers’ enhancement and cannot be applied to new appointments.
To appear for MTET, one needs to have a 2-year D.El.Ed diploma as per government notifications issued in 2018, 2021 and 2023. However, this was allegedly not heeded to during the recruitment process.
Questions have been raised over the haste in which the appointment letters were provided without allegedly verifying documents.
“Many schools functioned without teaching staff in Garo Hills for 3-4 years. At that time, there was no hurry in filling up these vacancies by the Education department. This led to an increase in the dropout rates of children. If you did nothing then, why is this hurry now?” asked a Tura resident who did not wish to be named.
After receiving RTI replies, the aspiring teachers filed two FIRs against two newly-appointed teachers in Dadenggre. One of the candidates had Hindi as a subject but got appointed to teach Assamese.
When contacted, SDSEO of Dadenggre ED Sangma claimed documents were verified. At the same time, he said they were short-handed.
“First, the state did not come up with a notification on 18-month D.El.Ed, so we allowed all of them to apply. Secondly, we did not have enough time to send letters to all the universities where these candidates passed from. We are, however, probing the matter,” said Sangma.
When asked as to why the genuine candidates with degrees from the state were not considered for the jobs, he had no answers.
Speaking on the recruitment process, Director of School, Literacy and Education Swapnil Tembe stated that all district nodal officers were in-charge of the recruitment process and verification of documents was to be done by the SDSEO.
The cases of the 2 teachers against whom FIRs have been filed are well documented.
Twelve other successful candidates passed their diploma from Assam through the Open Distance Learning (ODL) method under the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).
As per the criteria stated on Assam’s SCERT website, ODL is only available for residents of Assam who are already in-service teachers in schools. However, the 12 newly-appointed teachers, despite being permanent residents of Meghalaya, were still able to obtain D.El.Ed certificates from the state and produced these to secure jobs in Meghalaya.
“What they did was wrong, morally and legally. In which state is ODL a degree that can get you a government job? When there are regular candidates who have gone through the grind, why was preference given to questionable degree/diploma holders?” asked Salim Biswas, an aspirant teacher.
The Garo Hills region has suffered for years due to the lack of educators. The question now is when the NCTE comes calling, will those recruited be shown the door.


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