The government has amended the Kerala Education Rules (KER) making teachers in charge of a class or head teachers responsible for forged attendance in connection with school admission.
As per the amended KER that was notified recently, if creation of a new post or holding of a post through bogus admission or forged attendance is detected during verification by the Education Department, the pecuniary loss caused to the government shall be recovered from the teacher in charge of a class, head teacher, or manager, as the case may be.
Another provision stipulates that if a student remains absent without leave for 15 working days consecutively or five consecutive working days from the school reopening day, the teacher should report the details to the head teacher.
The amendment lays down that additional division or additional posts in a school have to be sanctioned by the government. This comes in the wake of repeated instances of creation of posts by showing an increase in pupil strength.
The education officers will make a surprise visit to the school and conduct a preliminary verification to ascertain the pupil strength. If the school’s requirement is found valid, the details have to be submitted to the Director of General Education (DGE) through the Samanwaya web portal.
The DGE will conduct a verification through the Super Check Officer or any other official, and submit an affidavit and the recommendation to the government. On their basis and another verification if needed, the government will sanction the additional division or post.
School managers or other parties affected can appeal for a review within 30 days. If the pupil strength falls at any time till January 31, the head teacher has to report it to the education officer through Samanwaya.
If sufficient reasons to reduce the division or posts are found on verification, the staff fixation order should be revised within 20 days of the receipt of the head teacher’s report. Appeals can be made against the revised order. The Super Check Officer or other authorised officials can also conduct such checks any time during the academic year.
The amendment also makes changes to the teacher-pupil ratio. As per Rule 23A in the amended KER, the teacher-pupil ratio for classes 1 to 8 shall be as specified in the schedule to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. Kerala used to follow the provisions laid down in the KER.
After the RTE Act was passed and implemented in the State, it did not ratify teacher appointments based on teacher-pupil ratio in the RTE. This has been a bone of contention between the aided managements and the government.