Students’ number shouldn’t decide staff strength in Hr sec schools’ Dismissing a writ appeal by the school education department, a division bench of Justice R Subramanian and Justice K Govindarajan
‘Students’ number shouldn’t decide staff strength in Hr sec schools’
Dismissing a writ appeal by the school education department, a division bench of Justice R Subramanian and Justice K Govindarajan Thilakavadi stated that fixing the number of staff based on student strength will not apply to higher secondary classes The procedure of fixing teaching staff strength in higher secondary schools should not be done based on students’ strength but on the grounds of the groups/sections in the schools, the Madras High court held.
Dismissing a writ appeal by the school education department, a division bench of Justice R Subramanian and Justice K Govindarajan Thilakavadi stated that fixing the number of staff based on student strength will not apply to higher secondary classes. The court ruled that as per the 1997 government order, the fixation of staff’s strength is based on the number of sections and groups.
In their appeal, the government sought to set aside the order of the single judge directing the department to approve the appointment of two Tamil teachers for higher secondary classes in St Joseph Boys Higher Secondary School (government-aided) in Thiruvannamalai as the students’ strength in the school does not require two Tamil PG Assistants.
“…the calculation that 40 students constituted one section and there were a total of 270 students in XI and XII standards which would require only 28 hours of teaching per week at 4 periods per section consisting of 40 students. Since the duration of 1 period is 45 months, the 28 periods will translate to 21 teaching hours which is less than 24 hours. Therefore, one PG Tamil teacher is enough for the respondent school,” K V Sanjeevi Kumar, special government pleader argued.
The government also reiterated that there are enough surplus teachers who are yet to be redeployed.
“The Government is finding it difficult to deploy the surplus teachers. Therefore, granting further approvals would only result in loss to the exchequer,” he submitted.
However, A Amala, counsel for the respondent, rejected the submissions and pointed out a 1997 order from the school education department concerning the matter.
She said there should be one PG Assistant in Tamil for two studies. “Therefore, if the number of groups exceeds two, automatically, the school will be entitled to one more PG Assistant in Tamil, “ she argued.
She also noted that the respondent school has four groups of studies. She further highlighted the two high court orders which ruled that approved staff positions shall not be taken away in aided schools.
“According to the HC verdicts, once there is a sanctioned post, the authority cannot refuse approval. The authority has to approve and if there are not enough students, it can think of re-deploying the teacher in other schools,” the counsel submitted.
Recording the submissions, the judges observed, “the respondent school is offering four groups in the aided section and it is offering English and Tamil medium in the first group which consists of Tamil, English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Therefore, there have to be eight sections, four in XI Standard and four in XII Standard.”
They said each section of students will have to be given at least four hours of lecture in Tamil per week which would make the lecturing hours 32 hours.
“Therefore, there have to be two PG teachers in Tamil in the respondent school, “ the judges ordered