1,000 govt. primary schools remain headless

Legal tangle, recruitment freeze hit postings

The State government has not appointed head teachers in around 1,000 government primary schools in the past one year.

Those in the Kerala Public Service Commission rank lists for Lower Primary School Assistant (LPSA) and Upper Primary School Assistant (UPSA) posts are reportedly losing a chance to get a government job because of this.

According to sources, the stalemate in recruitment followed a Kerala High Court order on January 27 last year, which directed the government to appoint only those who cleared department-level qualification tests as head teachers.

Status quo

Some head teachers, who had not passed the tests, approached the Supreme Court against the order. The apex court ordered to maintain status quo. The State government has not appointed head teachers in government primary schools since April last year, it is learnt.

The government, in the meantime, amended rules to exempt teachers aged above 50 from the ambit of the High Court order. Another group of teachers opposed this order, following which the High Court said the present situation should continue until the apex court settles the matter.

“Right now, there is some sort of undeclared freeze on recruitment. If the government promotes existing test-qualified teachers as head teachers, it will lead to around 1,000 vacancies in various government primary schools. Those from the PSC rank list for LPSA and UPSA can be appointed to these posts,” K.N. Anand, president of the Kerala Test Qualified Primary Teachers’ Union, told The Hindu on Monday. He claimed that by not making appointments, the government was apparently trying to cut the cost on salaries.

“However, because of the impasse, many qualified teachers, who could have become head teachers, are retiring next month without getting a chance for promotion. The wait of those in PSC rank lists is getting longer too,” Mr. Anand said.

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