Chandigarh, March 7:

To overcome the shortage of teachers in higher and senior secondary schools, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved a rationalization policy, which will also help in efficacious and judicious utilization of the services of teachers.

The decision, taken under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, was aimed at ensuring optimal utilization of human resources in schools where there are either no teachers or deficient staff.

The Rationalization Policy 2018-19 will also help remove the distinction amongst various categories of schools and teachers to be posted irrespective of the nature of schools, an official spokesperson said.

As per this policy, the post of Head Teacher would only be created in primary schools if the number of students is more than 60 – a move that would motivate teachers to increase the strength of primary schools and prevent wastage of available manpower. The teacher student ratio at the state level in various cadres is 27 in primary schools, 22 for middle schools, 16 in high schools and 29 for senior secondary schools. This is well within the norms but there is still shortage of teachers at both inter district and intra district levels.

The policy makes it mandatory for school principals to take classes (12 periods per week for Principals and 15 periods per week for Headmasters).

The present duration of class period is 35 minutes, and the policy has restored it to its earlier duration of 40 minutes. The restoration of previous period time would reduce the periods per week from 54 to 48 periods. The school timings would continue to be from 9 am to 3.20 pm, said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson further said that enrollment of students as on April 30, 2018 would be taken as base while implementing the rationalisation policy. In case there are surplus teachers in the school, the teachers having the longest stay would be shifted out to the common pool and all the vacancies would be thus determined and put on the website. A seniority list of the surplus teachers in a particular subject would be prepared and they would be given the chance to opt for a school according to seniority. Teachers suffering from life threatening disease like cancer or kidney etc. would not be shifted out even if he/she falls in surplus category, while, in their place, the teacher with the next longest duration of stay would be shifted.

The policy also notes that many of the teachers preferred to get themselves posted in middle schools since there were no Board exams. As per the norms, there are 7 sanctioned posts in the middle schools with average strength of 22 students, which amounts to high level of under- utilization of the teachers, whereas, at the same time, there is shortage of teachers in the High and Senior Secondary Schools.

The requirement of teachers, as per the norms of Government of India, in middle schools is three (single section). The policy provides for four posts of teachers with English/SST, Maths/Science, Punjabi and Hindi as subjects in place of the present seven. One post and one section would be increased accordingly, in case the number of sections in a school increases, which would help the department save 8007 posts, having annual financial implication of Rs. 576 crores.

The distinction of the schools would also be removed with the implementation of this policy and teachers would be posted irrespective of the nature of the schools under SSA, RMSA, Model, Adarsh schools etc. Apart from this, services of about 1500 surplus teachers will become available, which can be utilized by transferring them in requisite schools.