National Education Day: Sikkim unveils teachers' regularisation policy

Gangtok: On the occasion of National Education Day celebration on Thursday, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay unveiled the new adhoc regularisation policy.

Under the new policy, any adhoc teacher who has completed 8 years of service as on December 31, 2020, will be regularised. The process will be made annual with teachers reaching 8 years of service every year on December 31 to be regularised.

As a mark of respect for the state’s temporary teachers, the CM also suggested nomenclature change from ‘adhoc teachers’ to ‘probational teachers’. He claimed how the adhoc teachers have been a victim of the “electoral politics in the previous government”.

“Every time the elections came, the previous government would use the adhoc teachers for votes, promising they would regularise them if voted to power. But in 25 years, they regularised adhoc teachers only once in 20 years. It happened particularly because we raised the concern, included the regularisation in our manifesto. But we have not used the adhoc teachers for political or electoral politics, if that was the case events like these for teachers would be timed around 2023, keeping the elections in mind,” the chief minister said.

Representatives of adhoc teachers as well as the Chief Minister and his political entourage at the gathering highlighted how many of the the teachers have served as adhoc teachers for over 22 years.

“Now, with this new policy, with or without me as the chief minister, every adhoc teacher will be regularised once they complete 8 years of service. This notification will stay forever. In future, we will make consideration for further reducing the tenure requirement from 8 to 5 years. However, the rules of the regularisation process under NCTE norms will be applicable. There will be some teachers who may not fit the requirements but they dont need not worry, as we will take them as non-teaching staff,” he added.

Taking a jibe at former CM Pawan Kumar Chamling, Golay said how on the occasion of National Education Day in 2018, the then CM and his cabinet had boycotted the event organized by adhoc teachers.

“I know of your hardship then; teachers collected money from among themselves to welcome the previous CM to address their issue. But he didn’t have the courage to face you all, as it was a mess created by him by recruiting teachers in adhoc service. Additional Chief Secretary GP Upadhaya takes the blame often for the failures of the education department. But it is the intent that matters; the previous government lacked the intent to regularise and used the teachers for electoral benefit. But under our government, it is visible that if the government shows intent, then the department will work diligently for the teachers as well as the students.”

Golay also called for making primary education in Sikkim exemplary, while making a host of announcements such as a model school in every district and special incentives and facilities for teachers who work in such schools.

He highlighted various universities coming up in Sikkim, from NIT campus in Khamdong, Sikkim University campus in Yangang, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Centre of Excellence in his home constituency of Soreng-Chakung, ICFAI University in Lingdok, Kanchenjunga State University of Sikkim in Temi among many other professional, skill development universities in Sikkim. The chief minister promised developing an education institute in every constituency of the state.

Furthermore, the CM highlighted how his government transferred over 500 adhoc teachers to their home constituencies or districts for their ease, claiming the transfer of adhoc teachers was done for the very first time.

He also said school principals will be sent for educational tours outside of the country, “but only for those with at least 10 years of service left, such that they can learn and implement their projects in their respective schools, not those principals closing in on retirement”.

The CM also highlighted how teachers have been considered for administrative services such sub-divisional magistrates and block divisional officers among many other gazetted level rankings. He made considerations for promoting Headmasters from Junior High School in the grade of gazetted employees.

The Chief Minister also made considerations for welcoming “Happiness and Entrepreneurship curriculum” along with mental healthcare among students with proper counselling.

Also read: Education Day: How Sikkim’s digital divide failed its students

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