Modified KER to check for fake school admissions

The government has amended the Kerala Education Rules (KER) making teachers liable for a class or headteachers liable for falsified attendance as part of school admission.

According to the amended KER which was notified recently, if the creation of a new position or the occupation of a position by false admission or false attendance is detected during the verification by the Department of Education, the loss pecuniary caused to the government will be recovered from the teacher in charge of a class, head of establishment or manager, as the case may be.

Another provision states that if a student remains absent without leave for 15 consecutive working days or five consecutive working days from the day the school reopens, the teacher must notify the headteacher.

The amendment states that additional division or additional positions in a school must be sanctioned by the government. This follows repeated instances of post creation showing an increase in student strength.

Education officials will make a surprise visit to the school and conduct a preliminary audit to determine student enrollment. If the school requirement is found to be valid, details should be submitted to the Director of General Education (DGE) through the Samanwaya web portal.

The CEO will verify through the Super Check Officer or any other official, and submit an affidavit and recommendation to the government. Based on them and further verification if necessary, the government will sanction the additional division or position.

Principals or other affected parties may appeal for a review within 30 days. If student enrollment declines at any time up to January 31, the principal must report this to the Head of Education through Samanwaya.

If sufficient reasons for reducing the division or positions are found during the audit, the staffing order must be revised within 20 days of receipt of the director’s report. The revised order can be appealed. The Super Check Officer or other authorized officials may also perform such checks at any time during the academic year.

The amendment also makes changes to the teacher-student ratio. In accordance with Rule 23A of the amended KER, the teacher-student ratio for grades 1 to 8 must be as specified in the Schedule to the Children’s Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009. Kerala was following the provisions laid down in the KER.

After the passage and implementation of the RTE law in the state, it did not ratify teacher appointments based on the teacher-student ratio in the RTE. This has been a bone of contention between the assisted directions and the government.

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