West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that the state government will contest a recent Calcutta High Court order that resulted in the termination of employment for approximately 36,000 primary teachers in state-sponsored and aided schools. She assured the affected teachers and their families that her government stands by their side and urged them not to feel disheartened. Banerjee attributed the loss of jobs to the ongoing agitation by state government employees demanding parity in their Dearness Allowance (DA) with that of central government employees.
Expressing her concern, Mamata stated, “We have received appeals from the families of these 36,000 teachers who lost their jobs. I feel very bad. We have decided to approach the division bench.” The Chief Minister’s remarks were made during a press conference at the state secretariat, as reported by PTI.
The Calcutta High Court’s ruling on Friday cited procedural irregularities in the appointment process as the grounds for canceling the primary teacher appointments. Subsequently, the court granted permission to the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to file an appeal against the order annulling the appointment of approximately 36,000 teachers. Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, the presiding judge, canceled the appointments of candidates who were untrained at the time of recruitment, remarking that such a “magnitude of corruption” had not been witnessed before in West Bengal.
However, the court also instructed that teachers who were hired based on the board’s recommendation in the 2016 selection process be allowed to work for four months starting from May 12. They would receive remuneration equivalent to that of a primary school para teacher. Additionally, the board was directed to conduct a new recruitment exercise within three months, exclusively for candidates who had applied during the 2016 appointment process. Those who obtained training qualifications during the interim period would also be considered.
As the West Bengal government prepares to challenge the High Court order, Mamata Banerjee remains committed to supporting the affected teachers and seeks a resolution that upholds their rights and addresses the issues raised during the appointment process.