A maths teacher in India has found herself the subject of a national debate after she was hired to teach a group of children to do maths at a school in the city of Kolkata.
The teacher was asked to teach five students in English and French but only one of them is native English speakers and the others speak English fluently, according to the local media.
“I am not a native English speaker.
I cannot speak English well,” the teacher told The Indian Express newspaper.
“When I was hired, I was told I would be given a salary of Rs 1,500 per month but now I am being paid Rs 1.5 lakh,” the article quoted her as saying.
“Now I am worried about my children’s future.
I am not in a position to teach their math,” the mother of five told the paper.
“We have already paid Rs 2 lakh as the salary for the teachers.
But the school board is not providing us with the salary and I am getting calls every day from parents saying their children are not getting a proper education in this school,” she said.
The woman said she had been asked to start teaching math classes for children aged between five and 12 in the class of the class on the ground that it is “in line with the curriculum” of the school.
“They had said I would get Rs 2.5-3 lakh for the school, but now they are giving me Rs 1 lakh.
They have made me feel very, very angry,” she told the newspaper.
She said she was also upset that the teacher was not given a contract and was asked “to pay her a commission”.
“My children are my future,” she was quoted as saying, adding that her husband, a retired engineer, had taken up the case and was working to get her out of the job.
The father of five is also a teacher in the local school and had sought a compensation for his children in an online petition filed in Kolkatta’s court.
“Our children were taught math at a very young age.
They are still learning to speak English.
I have been working for a few years now and the work is getting harder and harder every day.
My wife is not working so we are very worried for our children’s futures,” the father told the Indian Express.
The petition claimed that the school’s headmaster was not aware that the children were not native English-speakers.
“The headmaster has denied any knowledge about the children being illiterate, but the school is still paying the teachers,” the petition said.
“It is not good that we are working without a contract.
We want the headmaster to provide the proper compensation for the children,” it added.
The school’s principal has reportedly refused to comment.
“A senior superintendent of the local board, however, told the local press that the issue was discussed internally and that the decision had been taken that the teachers should be given their salaries in accordance with the teacher’s contract,” the local newspaper reported.
“But the teacher and her family members are angry and are planning a protest against the school,” it said.
‘I don’t know if they are teaching the children fluently’ The teacher said that the local children’s school is one of the poorest in the district, but had not received any compensation.
“This is not the first time that the district has faced a case like this.
There are many similar cases.
They should not be given salaries, especially when they are illiterate,” the woman said.
An education official at the school said the teachers’ union had asked the local district government to compensate the parents for their children, but no decision had yet been taken.
“If the headmistress is not giving her salary in accordance to the teachers contract, the local education authorities are not in the right,” the official told the media.
The headmistresses union said it had asked for an explanation from the local government for the “inability to pay the salary”.
The government spokesperson said the matter was being looked into.
“What we have said in our statement is that we do not want to interfere in the contract of teachers.
The matter is under the jurisdiction of the district authorities,” the spokesperson told the national media.
A spokesman for the Kolkatas Education Department told the daily newspaper, Times Now, that the matter has been referred to the district education department for an investigation.
“At present, there are no other complaints of the teacher having not been paid.
We have a contract with the teachers and the matter is now under the department’s investigation,” the spokesman said.