The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra government to fill up 14,844 vacant posts of teachers in secondary and higher secondary aided schools by April 2015.
The state government had banned recruitment of teachers in primary, secondary and higher secondary schools in 2012 after it came to light during an official survey that there were excess teachers in many educational institutions.
Hence, the state had taken a policy decision in 2012 that unless excess teachers were absorbed in service, there would be a ban on recruitment. Hearing the PIL filed by Ramnath Mote, an MLC from teachers constituency, a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah asked the government to fill up the posts by April 2015.
"You (government) cannot give an excuse that there are excess teachers in schools and unless they are absorbed, there would be no recruitment. Otherwise, students would suffer", the bench said.
According to the PIL, the state government had conducted a drive in 2012 to detect bogus students enrolled in aided schools amid allegations that there was a tendency to show more students getting education in order to receive more grant from the government.
During the drive, the government found there were more than requisite number of teachers in primary, secondary and higher secondary aided schools in the state. Hence it decided to halt further recruitment until excess teachers are absorbed. This resulted into a huge backlog of teaching positions, the PIL said.
According to RTI information gathered by the According to RTI information gathered by the petitioner, there were 12,282 posts of teachers lying vacant in secondary schools and 2,562 in higher secondary schools.
The petitioner's counsel Narendra Bandiwadekar argued the government had filled up vacant posts of teachers in Mumbai but not in the entire State. This was hampering the cause of education.
He also said as of now there were 581 excess teachers in schools all over the State. Of these, 557 had been absorbed, leaving behind only 24 excess teachers. For such a small number of excess teachers, the government should not withhold filling up 14,844 vacant posts in the state, he argued.
The HC accepted the petitioner's argument and asked the government to fill up vacant posts by April 2015.