Over 1,100 less abled teachers reinstated after two years

Tuesday, July 03, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

State Education Minister, Vinod Tawde, has agreed to reinstate over 1,100 handicapped teachers, who were retrenched in 2015 and not reinstated despite Mumbai High Court’s order as well as CM’s instructions.

In a meeting with office bearers of 'Shikshak Parishad' comprising MLCs N G Ganar and Shrikant Deshpande, Dattatray Sawant and others held in Mantralaya, Tawde said that the concerned teachers would be reinstated after verification of their documents.

Teachers and lab attendants numbering 1,158, were working under the Scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) launched by the centre in 2009. This Scheme had replaced the earlier Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) scheme and sought to provide assistance for the inclusive education of the disabled children in classes IX-XII.

It aimed to enable all students with disabilities, after completing eight years of elementary schooling, to pursue further four years of secondary schooling in an inclusive and enabling environment.

The scheme covered all children studying at secondary stage in government, local body and government-aided schools, with one or more disabilities, as defined under the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) and the National Trust Act (1999) in the Class IX to XII, namely blindness, low vision, leprosy-cured, hearing impairment, loco motor disabilities, mental retardation, mental illness, autism and cerebral palsy.

It covered speech impairment, learning disabilities, etc. Girls with disabilities received special focus to help them gain access to secondary schools, as also to information and guidance for their developing potential.

However, they were reportedly removed from service during the regime of School Education Director, Mahavir Mane, in 2015. Subsequently, in response to a petition by teachers, Aurangabad division of the Bombay High Court directed the government to reinstate the sacked teachers and Parichars immediately.

The court also directed that their pending salary be paid and if there are no vacancies under the 'Rationalisation of Handicapped Secondary Teachers Scheme', they be reinstated in other schools.

Despite high court orders, the teachers were not reinstated and the issue remained pending even during the regime of Education Secretary, Nandkumar. As such the issue was raised in state legislative council. Since the issue remained pending despite all these efforts, an agitation was staged for nearly nine months by 'Shikshak Parishad' in Nagpur.

Finally, Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, directed school education department to reinstate teachers immediately. Yet the reinstatement remained pending for three years after they were retrenched.

Commenting on the issue, Janardan Jangle, President of the Mumbai Teachers’ Democratic Front (MTDF) said that the handicapped teachers are equally efficient and impart coaching like able-bodied teachers. As such they must be reinstated immediately.

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