40% teachers bunk classes, go for ‘meet’
CBD BELAPUR: Even though the annual exams are around the corner, it is an unscheduled holiday season in the city’s civic schools as 40% of the teachers are on leave, ostensibly to attend a teachers’ conference in Sindhudurg. Consequently, many students have also stopped attending classes. Civic officials say they will investigate if there is any discrepancy in the leave sanctioning process.
As many as 567 teachers of schools run by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) applied for leave to attend the conference being organised by the Teachers’ Federation at Oras village in Sindhudurg, which has forced non-permanent teaching staff to conduct several of the classes.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a teacher said, “Around 95% of permanent teachers have taken mass leave, and it is very difficult to take action against them as they are in permanent service.”
Upset with the en-mass leave, a Shiv Sena delegation met Amrish Patnigire, deputy municipal commissioner and education officer of NMMC, and asked him to look into the issue. Patnigire assured the delegation that he would examine the issue and take strict action against those guilty of violating rules.
Education Board chairman Sudhakar Sonavane said a teacher’s foremost responsibility is to teach students. “Teachers being on mass leave has severely affected the study of students. We will definitely take strong action in this regard,” he said.
Former leader of the opposition Vijayanand Man questioned the discretion of the leave sanctioning authority, which granted the mass leave to teachers, and demanded that strong action be initiated against it.