Manipur Govt Halts Recruitment of Pre-Primary Teachers Amid Allegations of Irregularities

Northeast Desk, 18th June: The Manipur government has decided to suspend the recruitment process for pre-primary teachers following allegations of irregularities. In a meeting chaired by the Education Minister, the state resolved to halt the engagement of 1,140 pre-primary teachers and to review the entire process through a High-level Committee of Officers.

This decision responds to claims made by the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) regarding irregularities in the recruitment process. The state government issued a release clarifying that the qualifications prescribed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) for recruiting pre-primary teachers were addressed in official communications dated March 24, 2024, and June 13, 2024. The release specified that the relaxed qualifications would only apply if the department failed to find sufficient candidates with the requisite two-year diploma in Nursery Teacher Education/Pre-School Education/Early Childhood Education Programme (D.E.C.Ed) or a B.Ed. (Nursery) recognized by NCTE.

The government emphasized that the recruitment process was aligned with funding from the Government of India, with a 90:10 funding share, and aimed to provide employment opportunities to the youth and educational benefits to children aged 3-6 years. The claim that the government intended to recruit unqualified teachers was strongly refuted. Nevertheless, the recruitment process will remain on hold until a comprehensive review is completed.

Regarding the recent arrests of DESAM volunteers, the government stated that the police action was in response to violent acts, including the destruction of public property and the disruption of office operations at the Education-School Department. The volunteers had stormed the offices of the State Project Director, Samagra Shiksha at Babupara, and the Directorate of Education (S), Lamphelpat, demanding the cancellation of the recruitment process. Three DESAM volunteers were detained during the agitation.

The government reiterated its commitment to maintaining transparency and fairness in the recruitment process, ensuring that only qualified individuals are appointed to positions that significantly impact early childhood education. The review by the High-level Committee of Officers will aim to address all concerns and uphold the integrity of the recruitment process.

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