I am not a government school teacher. Which is, probably, why I see the Karnataka ordinance on teacher transfers as a refreshingly radical move. For those who missed it, the Karnataka State Civil Services (regulation of transfers of teachers) Ordinance, 2006, stipulates a compulsory five-year stint in rural schools for all government school teachers in Karnataka.
Provacation for bringing in the ordinance ought to be obvious to everyone, other than, perhaps, those politicians and officials who thrive on transfers trade. The government move is bound to cause panic among teachers, notably, the city-bred who have so far evaded transfer to rural schools, through political connection, contacts in higher bureaucracy, or, plainly, through currency persuasion.
Transfer-dodgers, below 53, better be ready to be moved to a zone ‘C’ school, which could be anywhere beyond 15 km from their city municipal limits. Luckier ones could get placed in ‘B’ zone, that is in a school within 15 km of the city limits. The ‘B’ zone schools are also categorized as rural, though they may be within commuting distance from an urban centre.
If the ordinance is enforced effectively, and, if the ruling coalition has the political will, our city-bred teachers would do well to get used to rural living.