The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra government's school education department to file a reply to a PIL which alleged more than 1000 posts of teachers lie vacant in schools across the state.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) from the Constituency of Teachers in the Konkan Division, seeking a direction to fill vacant posts of teachers in government recognised and aided private, primary, secondary, higher secondary schools and junior colleges.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah directed education directors of primary, secondary, higher secondary and junior colleges to file their replies by November 13.
The PIL said that in accordance with Bombay Primary Education Rules, 1949, Secondary Schools Code as well as the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the state is required to maintain an adequate pupil-teacher ratio so that adequate number of teachers were available for a specific number of students in a class or a school.
However, by not filling vacant posts of teachers, the adequate ratio is not being maintained, the PIL said, adding that more than thousand teachers' posts are vacant in schools.
"Insufficiency of teachers in schools affects the performance of the other teachers working in those schools since they are overburdened with the work load of others. This ultimately has serious consequences on educational careers of students," the PIL stated.
The petition termed the state's action "illegal, arbitrary and discriminatory" and in breach of Article 14 of the Constitution.