Lamentable state of affairs that when teachers would fall from highest pedestal to lowest level by caring after their self- interests: HP High Court

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Shimla March 24

It would be a very lamentable state of affairs that when teachers who are considered as equal to God, would fall from the highest pedestal to the lowest level by caring and looking after their self- interests alone and not the interest of their pupil(s), observed HP High court in a matter on Monday. Confirming that it is the obligation of the educator to deal with pupil(s) in a manner as a cautious parent would deal with its kids; the Court on Monday turned down a request, of a School Principal who had challenged his transfer on the ground that he had crossed the age of 55 years.

The Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhushan Barowalia carefully commented, “Instead of being a role model, (the petitioner) is indulged in an unnecessary and otherwise avoidable litigation that too, to safeguards his individual interest, over and above that of the students.”

Background of the matter

The petitioner after rendering service for a considerable time was promoted as headmaster on 24th April 2018. On 29th September 2020, he was appointed as Principal and was posted at Government Senior Secondary School, Dugli, Tehsil Churah, District Chamba.

He looked for a bearing to the State of Himachal Pradesh to move him from ‘hard region advocating that he had finished his tenure in the hard zone and had crossed the age of 55 years.

Court’s observations

The Court observed that it needs no rocket science to conclude that the Headmasters, who are later on promoted as Principals, are in all likelihood bound to be above 55 years of age, and on being promoted as such, they are liable to be transferred/served anywhere in the State.

The Court remarked that the standards expected of a person practicing the noble teaching profession must be ideal so that the students may know and practice the best principles of a civilized life.

“The teacher in Indian society has been elevated as God. A teacher creates knowledge, learning, wisdom and equips the students with ability and knowledge, discipline and intellect to enable them to face challenges of the life.”

Further, the Court stressed that a teacher is a preserver of learning and therefore, as a member of the noble teaching profession, he should be a role model.

“Without a dedicated and disciplined teacher, even the best education system is bound to fail. Therefore, it is the duty of the teacher to take care of pupil(s) as a careful parent would take care of its children,” the Court added.

Therefore, the Court ruled that no exception could be taken against the transfer on the ground that the petitioner had crossed the age of 55 years.

Important- in view of the facts of the case, the Court noted

Lastly the court also observed, that the Education Department is one of the biggest litigants before the Court and majority of their writ petitions only relate to the transfer and adjustment of the teachers, the Court said. “It is not the teachers alone, who are to be blamed for this, as even the government despite imposing ban on transfers by issuing notification(s) to this effect blatantly violates these notification(s).”

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