Underlining that performing additional duties is not the reason for which a teacher is appointed, the Allahabad High Court recently directed that all teachers substantively appointed as such should function and perform teaching work first and only thereafter, additional work may be given to them in case of need.
The Bench of Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra observed,
"It is only after performing of essential functions as a teacher that State can ask a teacher to perform additional work. Performance of additional work in no circumstance can be at the cost of teaching work by the concerned teacher/Headmaster."
Facts in brief
The Petitioner, a headmaster in a primary school was sent on deputation on the post of Zila Vyayam Shikshak in July 2017 and was working on that post since then.
Thereafter, in January 2021, an order was passed by the Director General School Education wherein a direction had been issued to all District Basic Education Officers requiring the games and scouts teachers/ physical education teachers attached at the block level to be relieved.
It was so ordered so that these teachers could perform their primary function as a teacher in the school and only in addition to it, they may perform other functions.
A consequential order had been passed by the District Basic Education Officer, Chandauli relieving the petitioner from the additional work assigned to him on account of his deputation.
Challenging the same, the petitioner moved before the High Court stating that games teachers, in sufficient number, are otherwise available and regular functioning of the school was otherwise restricted on account of Covid-19 pandemic.
Hearing the matter, the Court in February 2021 had observed that the order of the Director-General, School Education was clearly in aid of the cause of education inasmuch as teachers have the preliminary responsibility to perform teaching work and all other functions are only secondary.
The Court had also remarked that the Director-General, School Education must examine and ensure that the order was implemented in letter and spirit inasmuch as the teachers who are either headmaster or teachers must be repatriated to their parent cadre and should be authorized to perform teaching work first.
Pursuant to the Court's Order, on 15th March, the Director-General, School Education filed his personal affidavit clearly stating that all teachers, who were assigned duties of games and scouts activities, have been repatriated to perform their parent teaching work.
It was further stated that the petitioner had also been repatriated and has joined at his original place of posting as Headmaster of the Primary School.
The petitioner contended that he was only games' teacher and his activity of teaching in school was not that important as of teachers who were to teach Science and Humanity subjects.
It was also submitted that such teachers were given additional work and were also getting an allowance of Rs.2500/- per month, whereas petitioner's allowance was only Rs.300/- per month.
Further, it was his grievance that there was no justification to repatriate the petitioner and the State had not treated him at par with other teachers, who were to act as academic key resource person.
At the outset, the court observed,
"Petitioner is substantively a Headmaster in a Primary School and his primary duty is to perform teaching work and to supervise the primary institution. There is no factual issue that petitioner has been repatriated to perform teaching work."
The Court further noted that his entire anxiety was to somehow get the additional work for which Rs.300/- per month is to be paid extra.
Significantly, the Court observed,
"This Court, therefore, is not inclined to entertain petitioner's grievance, inasmuch as the respondents have merely asked the teachers to perform their essential teaching work and not encourage allocation of additional duties as District Coordinator etc."
Further, the Court also directed,
"The Director-General shall, therefore, ensure that other category of teachers are also not allowed to perform non-teaching work at the cost of teaching work, which is likely to impair the work for which they have been appointed."
Significantly, the Court also directed the Director-General to ensure that all teachers substantively appointed as such are allowed to function and perform teaching work first and only thereafter additional work maybe given to them in case of need.
Case title - Vikeka Nand Dubey v. State Of U.P. And 4 Others [WRIT - A No. - 2679 of 2021]