With the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for Lok Sabha elections now in force, the appointment of 3582 master cadre teachers and regularisation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhmik Siksha Abhoyan (RMSA) teachers, have been suspended.
Teachers said the postponement will affect students of government schools for around two months because the academic session begins in April while the election process will end in the last week of May. These teachers were to be given appointment letters as part of an ongoing recruitment process on March 11, but with the MCC having come into force March 10, permission for appointment would be allowed only by Punjab’s chief electoral officer (CEO).
Master cadre teachers were to be recruited for various subjects including science, math, social studies and Punjabi. Selection of station of their postings was also to be done on March 11. SSA and RMSA teachers of Adarsh and Model schools were also going to get letters regarding regularisation the same day.
“Regularisation of teachers can be delayed as it would not affect the studies because those teachers are already there, they are only to be recognised as Punjab government employees. However, non-appointment of teachers under master cadre will affect students badly for two months,” stated a senior officer in the education department, adding that the department cannot go ahead without the permission of the Punjab CEO after implementation of MCC.
“We are taking up the matter with the CEO because it is a matter of students,” said another official. The notice with regard to suspension of appointments — issued by Sukhjeet Pal Singh, Director, education department (senior secondary) — also states that after taking up the matter with the Punjab CEO, the next programme will be made accordingly. Singh added that though the process of master cadre recruitment had been going on since before the announcement of elections, permission from Election Commission is mandatory for issuing new appointment letters when the code is in force.