Published: 25th December 2021
Why has Kerala been denying 80% of high school teachers transfers to home stations
For the past two years and three months, there has been no movement, especially in the HSS section. This has put many teachers in a tough spot
The suspicion that only the powerful and the connected can survive in government departments is being proved true in the case of around 80% of the 2,000 higher secondary school teachers who have been denied transfers to their home stations for the past two years. They had even filed a petition with the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) last month seeking a solution to their plight, but didn't receive a favourable response.
All that KAT decided was to post the hearing to February 2022. The reason? According to a Higher Secondary School teacher, the government needs more time to affect the general transfer in the Higher Secondary School Teacher (HSST) and HSST (junior) categories, and that it will consider the issue at the time of general transfer. The issues related to the HSST section are many, but no one is brave enough to come forward fearing repercussions, said the teacher who himself did not want to be named.
According to a lady teacher, usually, the transfers happen every year. However, for the past two years and three months, there has been no movement, especially in the HSS section. This has put many teachers in a tough spot, the teacher said. She also pointed out the case of a teacher who had recently undergone heart surgery and resides 400 km away from her home station. There is no one to take care of her. And it's difficult for her to travel 400 km to her home station to visit her family.
According to another teacher, some use their clout in the education department and the government to reap the benefits that outstation postings give in their service records while remaining close to their home stations. "How can that be justified?" asks the teacher. A person who works as an outstation teacher at a school just 25 km away from the place marked as their home station gets the same weightage in their service records as that of a person working some 195 km away from their home, he said.
As the transfer process gets delayed, the weightage also increases proportionally, he pointed out. Since 2016, many people have used their influence to get postings in districts neighbouring their home stations, he said. Hinting at another folly in the rules, the teacher said, "If a person works at a distance of 200 km from the home station, they get 1.25 years as the weightage in their service records. However, to get a weightage of three more months, they will have to work 400km away. Many unfortunate people, who have been working for years in outstation posts, are compelled to continue to do so even after five years because of those who never budge from their comfy postings."
According to the teachers, instead of keeping the revenue district as a measuring scale in the transfer norms, the government should use distance as a criterion.