Published By: Sukanya Nandy
Last Updated: December 10, 2023, 09:45 IST
The education minister claimed on Tuesday while addressing a press conference that there were only 781 vacancies in state-run schools (Representative Image)
While speaking in the assembly, Basu said that the counselling of candidates for recruitment in vacant posts is going on following the Calcutta High Court’s directive
After Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu’s vacancy remark in the assembly sparked a controversy, he has now elucidated that there are more than 55,000 vacancies in teaching posts lying vacant in state-run schools in West Bengal. The education minister claimed on Tuesday while addressing a press conference that there were only 781 vacancies in state-run schools. “It is impossible to give exact figures as teachers retire every day,” The Times of India quoted Basu as saying.
As per the information obtained from the West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBCSSC), Basu said, “We sent a list of 11,765 vacancies to the primary education board in 2022 and 14,339 vacancies at the upper primary level. We have sent a list of more than 13,500 vacancies at the Madhyamik (secondary) level, and at the higher secondary level, the number is more than 5,500.”
While speaking in the assembly, Basu said that the counselling of candidates for recruitment in vacant posts is going on following the Calcutta High Court’s directive. He went on to say that the counselling for Madhyamik and higher secondary levels would start after the court’s permission.
“As of now, there are 13 vacancies in higher secondary schools, 28 at the secondary level, 473 at the upper primary level, and in primary schools, it is 267,” Basu said, discarding the claims made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that there are more than 300,000 vacancies.
It is worth noting that this clarification comes at a time when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are probing the multi-crore recruitment scam in the state’s government schools.
As per a report by Hindustan Times, three ruling Trinamool Congress legislators, including the former state education minister Partha Chatterjee, along with some former top government officials of the state education department, have been detained and put behind bars at present.
Soon after Bratya Basu’s remarks, the opposition launched a scathing attack, accusing the government of corruption.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sujan Chakraborty, while speaking to the media on Wednesday, said, “On Tuesday, he said there were 781 vacancies, and today he is saying there are more than 55,000 vacancies. It seems that the education minister has failed in primary-level mathematics. This is how they suppress and spread false information. They want to confuse the people so that irregularities may continue.”
West Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha also accused the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government of ‘being full of scams and irregularities at every level’. He added that the government ‘after stealing crores of money is now trying to steal numbers as job aspirants are demonstrating and demanding placements’.