The Madras High Court barred government school teachers from taking private tuitions after class or during summer holidays since it amounts to indulging in a ‘private trade or business’, which had been termed under the service rules applicable to government servants as a misconduct.
HC has also directed the school education department to provide a toll-free telephone number for students and parents to lodge complaints regarding indiscipline, illegal activities, irregularities and sexual harassment by teachers in government, aided or unaided schools. The number has to be created in eight weeks and displayed prominently in all schools. Complaints received on the number should be investigated within 24 hours.
“It is most unfortunate to state that teachers are soliciting students to join tuition classes either at their homes or in other places organised by such teachers. The students, after school hours, are sometimes forced to attend the tuition classes. Taking of tuition after school hours is also a misconduct..A public servant must show devotion to his duty. The profession of teaching is a noble one and teachers are bound to maintain honesty, integrity and clean life both inside as well as outside the school. Contrarily, these teachers are engaged in trade and business by conducting tuitions/tutorial classes,” observed Justice S.M. Subramaniam.
He also took note of growing instances of sexual harassment by teachers committed on students. “Even young children are not spared. Such instances are frequently published in the media. However, the authorities are not showing any sensitiveness towards this issue. They are only pretending to be sensitive,” said the judge.
While only a few cases of sexual harassment gets reported, a large number get “decently buried on extraneous considerations.” “It’s high time that the authorities open their eyes and monitor the activities of teachers and initiate appropriate action against the culprits, the judge said.
The orders were passed on Tuesday on a writ petition filed by headmaster R. Renganathan of Coimbatore, challenging his transfer.Posted in News, States