PANAJI: Managements of government-aided Catholic institutions issued a public notice through newspapers on Sunday stating that they cannot absorb the computer teachers recruited by the directorate of education (DoE). The development is set to further complicate matters for the over 450 computer teachers involved. The computer teachers were issued appointment letters by the state this year and were on the verge of being absorbed by aided schools after a long struggle to come out of the contract system.
Managements of the catholic schools have said in their public notice, "For sometime now, managements of the Catholic schools have been seized with the problem of appointment of computer teachers recruited and selected by the DoE. Rules 74 and 76 of the Goa Education Rules, 1986, clearly determine that the recruitment and appointment of personnel in aided schools is the responsibility of the school managing committee."
The notice also quotes Article 30 of the Constitution of India which gives minorities the right to establish and administer their own educational institutions. "In view of these facts, by selecting computer teachers for aided schools the government has not only transgressed its own rules, but it also amounts to an assault on the rights of private managements, especially of the minority institutions," the notice reads.
The minority-run school managements have said that the government has not heeded to the requests by them to follow the procedures, as is done in case of all other posts. "Mere assurances by the government that this is only a on- time measure, does not satisfy the legal position, nor are such assurances trustworthy. We hope that the government will take immediate steps to rectify the situation to end the suffering of these young teachers," the managements have said.
The institutes have said that students studying in their schools have already lost out on "invaluable hours of computer learning". They called on the government to "uphold the rights of the managements of the aided catholic educational institutions".
"Given the above legal position, managements of these minority institutions cannot take in the teachers recruited and selected by the DoE," the schools have said.
Being employed on contractual basis in government-aided high schools and higher secondary schools, the 458 computer teachers organized themselves in 2007 to demand regularization of their jobs. The teachers went through a long struggle to fight low wages and job insecurity.
After a long battle, the state government finally gave in and asked the Goa University to design a postgraduate diploma in computer and education technology (PGDCET) course specially for the teachers.
Most teachers successfully completed this course last year, but appointment letters of regularization in service came only later this year from the government. The computer teachers had held a protest meet only last week to demand their appointment in schools, which had not come forth, despite the appointment letters.