Hullabaloo Surrounds Teacher’s Appointment In Karbi Anglong

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Diphu September 27: Bringing to a halt to the staffing process of the Primary Education department in Karbi Anglong autonomous district by the Secretary of Elementary Education, the Government of Assam recently has drawn flak from major political parties BJP and Hills State Democratic Party. The parties are considering the nosiness of Assam government in the internal matter of the Karbi Anglong as a clear violation of Constitution.

Political parties and civil societies are of the opinion that the Autonomous Council is protected under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution. As such, it is empowered to manage the affairs of certain departments of the Assam government in this singular district after the declaration of the MoS (tripartite memorandum of understanding) in 1995, when it was shaped as an office memorandum by the Assam Assembly,

The hullabaloo surfaced when the Primary Education department functioning under the administrative jurisdiction of KAAC notified that vacant post of some 232 primary teachers will be filled. Interviews were duly conducted after several thousand youths applied. Ironically the KAAC notice for the recruitment process did not make TET qualification an obligatory prerequisite for being eligible to be appointed into the teachers post.

The casualness of the KAAC was not customarily accepted by many, who considered the leeway provided by the KAAC for involving mass contestants as a deliberate ploy to attain political mileage by dumping the Right to Education Act 2009 (RTE). The KAAC might hold autonomy to some degree, but it is not out of the ambit of the RTE whose control is absolute, even in the autonomous district of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao. Clear violation of Clause – AAA (I) of the section 23 of RTE Act 1009 has been made by the authority which ordered the recruitment process. The Government of Assam’s Secretary of Elementary Education, in his official letter of 17th September while pointing out the problem perpetrated by the KAAC ordered they stop the erroneous process, thus unveiling the Pandora’s box.

It is debatable whether the existing parameters of law have actually given supreme authority to the KAAC to manage and control the affairs of the Primary Education Department including evading the RTE Act 2009. It is unknown whether the functioning of this particular department has been wrested to KAAC by the Assam government, the Union government or by the Constitution or perhaps the de facto control is with Assam government. A few days prior to the declaration of the official letter of 17th September, Tuli Ram Ronghang, the Chief Executive Member of KAAC claimed that the Primary Education Department is an inherited or hereditary subject of the KAAC and it has the power to include or leave out certain rules (such as RTE) in matters of appointment of primary school teachers.

An important question to ask is: are the posts of the primary school teachers still retained by the Assam government as it the paymaster of the primary teachers serving under autonomous councils.

Although the congress which is still managing the show in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, and obviously is consuming the penalty of the jolt coming out of the recruitment process, has not mentioned a word of protest to the Assam government, other political parties and civil societies are screaming since 17th September. Unil now, KAAC has not confirmed its stance as to how it is going to deal with the Assam government.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.