Representational image
Representational image

Teachers here have been appointed as acting principals. Educational experts are concerned that these vacant posts can affect the quality of education

Thane: For some technical reasons, most of the Thane civic schools are without principals. The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has 121 schools and 80 per cent schools have no principals for the last three years. While the civic officials claim almost all the posts remain vacant in these schools due to technical reasons, RTI activists claim such posts cannot remain vacant since it has to provide qualitative education to students is the sole responsibility of the civic corporation.

The TMC has 121 Hindi, English and Marathi medium schools, with 1,200 teachers and 36,000 students. Eighty per cent of these schools do not have principals as senior teachers’ promotions are due. Teachers here have been appointed as acting principals. Educational experts are concerned that these vacant posts can affect the quality of education.

“As per the Right to Education Act, qualitative education is the duty of civic corporations towards their schools. Teachers who have been appointed as ‘temporary principals’, will now have the additional load of management work and this can affect the quality of education. Principals are heads of schools and the post cannot be kept vacant so many many years,” said NGO Ghanshyam Sonar, chief of Saman Shikshan Mulbhut Adhikar Samiti.

The civic corporation has a provision for advanced education in 2018-2019 budget for its schools, but has been unable to fill vacancies. Schools run by civic authorities will now be getting e-learning, digital and also the most advanced lessons during the current academic year. After pressure from teachers’ organisations who demanded that these posts be filled, the civic authority appointed senior teachers as temporary principals. Teachers on the verge of retirement will miss the opportunity to be promoted despite their seniority.

“Due to code of conduct, the issue of posts have been delayed, once the Konkan Graduate elections are over, we will sort out this issue,” informed Vikas Repale, chairman of TMC education board. On the other hand, the civic corporation claims it has already started procedures to fill these vacant posts and may be in the next two-and-a-half months things will settle down.

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