Shimla: The political lot in Himachal Pradesh may gloat about official figures placing the state high up on the list of achievers in the field of elementary education, but the reality was exposed threadbare on Monday when three fake teachers employed on contract by actual teachers were caught by a team of State Anti-corruption Bureau in Shillai area of Sirmaur.
The vigilance team swooped down on three schools in the area and could not find any teachers there. What they found were teachers hired on contract by these teachers to do the teaching on their behalf, after which four teachers were booked. In one case the teacher was found running a shop in his native village, while in another a teacher found absent was said to be running a coaching centre at Paonta Sahib. Director, elementary education, Suneel Chaudhary said that the department had received the complaints about two months back and action was taken accordingly.
Sources in the vigilance said they had been receiving complaints that in many rural schools hiring another person on nominal charges was helping regular teachers avoid serving in hard areas. There are also reports that teachers having influence in the education department or politics remain absent for long and are not even marked absent. So the bigger question being, why was the education department sitting with its eyes closed?
Principal secretary, education, PC Dhiman said the department was serious about such findings and would ensure that such “findings do not come to the fore again”. Now does that mean they should be hushed up? When asked if it was failure of the education department, he said, “Nobody can go and check schools in remote areas like the one where these cases were found, but in future we will ensure that such things so not happen.” The education minister’s could not be contacted for his reaction as his mobile was not responding. But he cannot be expected to give any different answer, so we can well imagine that in tribal areas a quack may well be doing duty for a MBBS doctor in a primary health centre. But do we care?