Wednesday 22 May 2019

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Society | Education

Teachers to be banned from politicking

 

Goa is planning to ban teachers from participating in active politics, including party work, unless they take a long leave or lien.

Announcing a decision taken in this regard after discussing it informally at a cabinet meet, chief minister Manohar Parrikar said the basic intention is to see that the teaching community concentrates more on teaching.

While government teachers are already bound by civil service rules and not allowed to participate in political activity, Goa has more aided schools and colleges, run by private educational institutions. The plan is to ban teachers of these aided schools.

With highschools, higher secondary schools and colleges run by such private institutions spread in every nook and corner of the state, its literacy rate of 76 per cent is considered to be one of the highest in the country.

However, the trend of private institutions making business of education by taking 'donations' for recruitment as well as teaching community getting more involved into politics has resulted into the standard of education going down tremendously in the state.

Secondly, after the Congress came to power here for the first time in 1980, the rules were amended, allowing the teaching community - if elected as the MLA - to take unpaid leave. This prompted several teachers getting more involved into active electoral politics, at the cost of education.

As a result, campus of several private institutions are also gripped with politics and sometimes elections of management committees are also fought indirectly on party lines, making the whole environment vicious.

Though Parrikar has not finalised the details, he says the ban would include electoral politics as well as work of a political party as an office bearer, right from the village level.

It would also include taking part into elections of self-governing bodies like panchayats and municipalities, though these elections are not fought on party lines.

However, if a teacher actively participates in any political issue by organising people, Parrikar clarifies that this provision will not be misused to curb his democratic right as a citizen. "It will remain restricted to taking part in elections or party work", he adds.

Parrikar disagrees with the observation that the provision would curb political activities of the opposition Congress rather than the BJP. "My party president and two general secretaries are teachers and principals", he points out.

It is also a fact that since 1980, large number of teachers have entered the Goa Assembly while many more contest elections and remain active in day-to-day politics, even by skipping their duties as a teacher.

In order to impose such a ban, the state is now planning to extend the code of conduct for aided teachers further while they are already banned from participating in political activity within the school premises.

While making necessary amendment, the authorities are also planning to define properly what they mean by 'active politics', in which the teacher should not participate.






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