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Teachers question Gujarat hiring policy in court

Ahmedabad, June 23 (Calcutta Tube) The validity of a process for recruitment of teachers under the Gujarat government-initiated Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is likely to come under the scanner of the Gujarat High Court Thursday.

The recruitment process has been challenged by teachers of 50,000 physically and mentally handicapped children who have been asked to apply afresh under the (SSA) scheme, if they wished to continue serving.

The teachers claimed that they were appointed under a 1981 central government-funded education scheme but the state government discontinued it saying that the union government did not grant funds for it.

They said that the central funds were discontinued since the state government failed to furnish a proper report to the central government. The state government has now asked them to apply afresh in the new recruitment process if they wished to continue their service.

The teachers’ plea is that such advertisements and recruitment process were arbitrary and would affect the education of the disabled children statewide who are taught by 1,250 specialist teachers.

The petitioners said they have not been paid wages by the state government for the last 14 months, despite a high court ruling May 29 that they be paid full wages.

A division bench of Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice M.D. Shah Tuesday sought the government’s reply on the issue.

Justice Waghela told the counsel for the state: ‘It is a fundamental responsibility of the state to provide education to the disabled children. They are the citizens of India and have the right to enjoy the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.’

‘You have to make your stand very clear whether you want to continue the service of these teachers or not. If not, then you would have to give reasons for the same that may be challenged,’ the court said.

‘If you wish to continue their service, then you to specify it before the court. Obtain instructions in this regard as such petitions would finally affect the disabled. That would not be to the benefit of anybody,’ Justice Waghela said while posting the matter for hearing Thursday.

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