The state government has announced the transfer policy of teaching faculties for technical and higher education. As per the new approved policy, teaching faculties of the government colleges and other institutes of higher education including engineering colleges and polytechnic, will no longer be transferable. The faculties will be allowed to serve at their currently assigned posting till retirement. Though, we do not have access to the policy document for a closure scrutiny, the policy as revealed by the government spokesperson through the media gives the impression of neither a flawed rationale nor a refreshing change. The policy comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Advocates of this new policy would assert that it will put an end to ‘punishment transfer’ raj, as it has been a practice in the government establishment to transfer teachers to unfavourable postings, whenever there is friction between the higher-ups and their subordinates, or when the authorities wishes to flex their muscle to reaffirm that they are the boss. This is not to demean our teaching community, but it has been a common practice for some teachers to lobby about the power corridors, either to stop or to move a transfer. Not to mention that teachers have even been resorting to seek the influence of student union to censure transfer orders. It has also been opined that the new transfer policy will help the teachers in developing a sense of belonging with their particular college or institution, which will help them serve better. In this regard, we hope the policy will serve its purpose, for it is important to have a sense of belonging with an institution for it to develop and progress.
On the flipside, as per the government statement, regular teachers will be allowed to make their choice of college before the official promulgation of the new transfer policy. In all likelihood, overwhelming preferences will be for the ‘elite’ colleges in Imphal. The Dhanamanjuri College will be among the top picks, which has already been tagged as premier college. And above all, this college, sooner or later, is to be upgraded into a state university. Among the preferred list, DM College will be followed by Ghanapriya Women College, Imphal College, Manipur College and some other colleges in the twin districts of Imphal. The official statement said that a committee will look into the choices of institutions offered by the teachers, taking into consideration their seniority and availability of post. The move is deemed to create the committee into a lobbying room for preferred postings, which will in turn negate the transfer policy itself. Moreover, the possibility of teachers preferring postings near their residence cannot be ruled out. In that scenario, disproportionate posting of teachers in colleges across the state will be an additional problem to be dealt with. The colleges in the far-flung areas and the hill districts are already facing shortages of teaching faculties, though new recruitment of teachers had already been announced by the government. To suggest an alternative transfer policy, there should be a mandatory rotational transfer system on the basis of two-three years posting at a college. That would allow wider exposure of our teachers, who would get the opportunity of learning from different experiences besides their academic exercises. Another option would be to create exchange programme of the teaching faculties between the colleges. We hope the authorities would give a thought into these aspects to enrich the policy.
Leader Writer: Senate Kh