Published: 24th October 2021
Kerala: Uncertainty in filling Communicative English higher secondary school teachers posts
No university in Kerala offers postgraduate degrees in Communicative English, leading to the crisis. Here's how the schools are coping
Even as the admission to Plus One classes is progressing in the state, the government is unable to fill vacancies in the Higher Secondary School Teachers post for Communicative English. Though the subject was included in the syllabus for higher secondary around two decades ago, the government is yet to appoint permanent teachers. Post Graduation and BEd in Communication are the required qualifications for the post. However, no university in Kerala offers postgraduate degrees in Communicative English, hence the crisis. Moreover, due to this, the universities in Kerala are not able to issue equivalency certificates to those who have obtained postgraduate qualifications on the subject from universities outside Kerala.
"We have been running the course by posting teachers with MA English as a qualification on a contract basis. Last year's contract has expired, and we are awaiting a government notification regarding the appointment. If not, we'll have to appoint a guest teacher again," said an official of Government HSS, Medical College Campus, Kozhikode.
The Communicative English course began at GHSS, Medical College Campus in 2005. There are only 45 posts under the course in government schools across the state, of which 41 posts have been lying vacant for several years. When the classes went online during the lockdown, the government schools faced a shortage of daily wage teachers. In Kozhikode district alone, there are 250 vacant teacher posts in both the government and private schools for subjects including Communicative English.
"We have notified the staff shortage to the higher authority," said Ajitha V, Regional Deputy Director in-charge (RDD) of the General Education Department, Kozhikode. Meanwhile, in an order issued by the General Education Department in 2018, the required qualification was changed to MA Communicative English, or MA English with not less than 50 per cent marks from any of the UGC recognised universities. But it is yet to receive the government nod.
"There are technical issues in the appointment of teachers in the Communicative English course. We have sent a proposal to the state government to amend the rule and release a special rule regarding the changes in the qualification requirements. Once the special rule is released, we can start the appointments," said Abul Kalam, senior administrative officer, Directorate of Higher Secondary Education, Thiruvananthapuram.