Students also suffer in teacher transfer

The teachers were repeatedly going on print and electronic media and on social media platforms that ordinarily it must be held in May of every year.

An innocuous order of stay in a few writ petitions by the high court in the matter of transfer counselling for government school teachers, has set the cat among the pigeons. Firstly, there was long delay in the government coming up with parameters for transfer policy for teachers serving in various schools of Tamil Nadu.

The teachers were repeatedly going on print and electronic media and on social media platforms that ordinarily it must be held in May of every year, before the academic year began so that students’ interest were taken care of.

And when the state came up with a Government Order ( GO), it was visited with ‘unreasonable preconditions disentitling many a teacher longing long for transfers.’. For those in service, subject to transfer and mobility
policy, location and transfers are huge issues, impacting the teachers and their families. Not to forget the schools and lakhs of students.

When a few teachers, to begin with, approached the high court, contending that the imposition of a minimum longevity of 3 years in the present position and location, it completely upset the apple cart of many in the zone of consideration.

This, the complaining teachers said was too harsh a condition and not legally tenable. There was a further condition that only those promoted prior to June 2017 were eligible to take part in the transfer counselling.

The few teachers who approached the high court convinced Justice V. Parthiban that though there were a number of vacancies near their ordinary places of residence, they were impeded from taking part. All along there were no such conditionalities and as such the GO was as arbitrary as a cumbersome one. The grant of interim stay by the judge in June 2019, turned into a flood of litigation with hundred and more teachers following suit in July, as the transfer counselling jamboree began.

The result: The judge had to oblige each teacher with an order of stay for the asking. Until he could decide the main writ petitions or hear any petition to vacate the orders from the government, he was obliged to play the consistency routine.

The transfer counselling slated in July turned haywire as more and most teachers came armed with orders of stay. It is gathered that even the digital platform mounted, to deal with the transfer counselling crashed.

Who is to blame for this state of affairs? Surely, not the high court, which has to go by law as it saw prima facie.

The TN Government may have a lot to answer for, considering that the issue has/had its repercussions in the education of children and with no certainty on the posts of the teachers and their sought for transfers.

All this will surely impact the curricular schedule. No wonder our education system is not in the healthiest of state. One can only hope and urge the judge and the high court to come to the rescue of the hapless student community, caught in the middle or muddle, by an expeditious closure of the vexed issue.

(The writer is a practising advocate in the Madras high court)

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