Resubelpara(Meghalaya), Aug 8: In an apparent case of administrative highhandedness, the SDSEO in charge of North Garo Hills, Welfare Marak, has been accused of appointing, not one but two teachers, in two lower primary schools in the districts without following prescribed norms.
The two schools in question, Salpara Bakenang LP School and Hatibasha Rabha LP School had recently posted vacancies after the retirement of teachers. Both schools use Assamese as a medium for teaching.
The SDSEO however, despite protests from the SMC members and local residents appointed two teachers, both of who have no educational qualification in the Assamese language. Further due to the objections raised by the secretary, the SDSEO even went ahead and stopped her salary in an effort to pressure her into towing his line, despite the time of COVID.
The matter had earlier been informed to the local MLA from Mendipathar, Marthon J Sangma, who raised objections to the appointment of teachers in schools where Assamese is the general medium of teaching.
“The candidate who has been given the job does not have Assamese as his MIL subject in his primary or secondary level. He studied entirely in North Garo Hills but produced Class XII marksheet with Assamese as a subject from Goalpara in Assam. There is genuine doubt over whether the certificate is genuine or not and needs to be investigated,” said Marthon in a complaint to the DSEL, Ambrose Marak, recently.
Despite the protests by the SMC and the local MLA, the SDSEO insisted on appointing the candidate in direct contravention of the laid down guidelines.
“Both the schools are Assamese medium schools and the medium of instruction is Assamese. How are these two newly appointed teachers supposed to teach when they are not even qualified in the language,” asked the Mendipathar MLA.
According to sources, as the teacher selected was not the best bet for the post, the secretary of the school, in consultation with the SMC members and the SDSEO, cancelled the interview. However the SDSEO did a u-turn and demanded that the candidate he had chosen, who was first in the merit list, be appointed as teacher for the school, despite him not qualifying.
“As to why he is insistent on appointing the teacher despite his obvious lack of qualification is beyond anyone’s understanding. For over a month he was harassing the school secretary leading to her getting hospitalized. He has served many threatening letters to her,” added Marthon, who was not happy with what was being done by the SDSEO.
Further as per the MLA, the two schools in question are non government schools and as such the power and function of the schools, including appointment and maintenance fall with the MC to a great extent. The SDSEO has been accused by members of the SMC of trying to force his will in the appointments and this has not gone down well with many.
Further the SDSEO even went ahead and illegally appointed a teacher from a Daram UP School as the secretary after dismissing the former secretary, raising many questions.
Meanwhile, upon being contacted on the matter, the DSEL, Ambrose Marak said the matter of appointment of teachers was at the discretion of the SDSEO but if the candidate did not qualify, he could not be appointed.
The SDSEO however clarified that the teacher that was appointed had an overall pass percentage of 47 and as such qualified as a teacher.
“Although he only secured 41% in Assamese, his appointment is subject to him improving his score in Assamese. He has taken an undertaking in this regard. Further the appointments are not made on the basis of Assamese medium teaching but for English,” said the SDSEO when commenting on the matter.
He also clarified that the reason for the secretary not being paid was due to the billing assistant being placed under quarantine.