Sikkim, July 22: The fate of 173 language teachers’ posts in Sikkim is hanging in the balance as the state government is yet to announce the recruitment even after conducting a written examination and interview for the posts about four years ago.

In 2017, the Sikkim State Teachers’ Recruitment Board had floated an advertisement for the recruitment of 222 language teachers in the state.

Accordingly, prospective candidates were invited for the posts of post-graduate teachers, graduate teachers and primary teachers and a written examination and viva voce were conducted for recruitment.

Even though 49 post-graduate teachers — 19 for Lepcha language, 16 for Limboo and 14 for Bhutia — were subsequently recruited after their results were declared in 2019, the posts of 173 graduate teachers are still lying vacant.

Of the 173 vacant graduate teachers’ posts, 35 are reserved for Lepcha language, 20 for Bhutia, and 17 for Limboo, apart from 101 for Nepali language teachers.

While candidates applying for the posts of language teachers in Lepcha, Bhutia, and Limboo do not need to produce a Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) certificate, qualification is mandatory for Nepali language teachers.

Earlier, a man named Balkrishna Dangal had challenged the recruitment process for 173 language teachers on the grounds that uniformity was not maintained for all the languages as per the criteria laid down by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).

However, on July 7 this year, the High Court of Sikkim dismissed the case, on the grounds that the state government has already withdrawn the employment notice for language teachers challenged in the writ the petition, which now was ‘rendered infructuous’.


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Even before the dismissal of the case, the state government had withdrawn the employment and other notices on March 25, 2020, cancelling the recruitment process.

However, on July 7 this year, the High Court of Sikkim dismissed the case, on the grounds that the state government has already withdrawn the employment notice for language teachers challenged in the writ petition, which now was ‘rendered infructuous’.

Even before the dismissal of the case, the state government had withdrawn the employment and other notices on March 25, 2020, cancelling the recruitment process.

Meanwhile, apart from the 173 teachers, 350 primary language teachers are also awaiting recruitment. “The state government has laid focus on language teachers for some the time now, with upgradation in higher education and introduction of post-graduation degrees in 2016 in Sikkim University and Sikkim State University,” said Binay Limboo, an applicant for Limboo graduate teacher.

There are 20 applicants for each course, be it Bhutia, Lepcha or Limboo. Now, Sikkim University has even introduced PhD courses for such languages. But at the base in schools, there are more than just the three languages. There are other languages such as Mangar and Rai, besides other local languages,” added Limboo.

These languages are taught in schools, but there is only one teacher for the students from the primary to the senior secondary level. Undoubtedly, there is a need for more language teachers, contrary to the surplus of teachers that people argue about. Hence, we feel the need is there, so the recruitment, especially of those that have already given their recruitment examination must be considered at once,” Limboo said.