Before stepping down as mayor, Dr Shubha Raul has decided to scrap the 35-year-old tradition of mayoral awards to the city’s best school teachers. Raul feels that the prestige of the annual awards has been diminished by nepotism and the fact that teachers lobby for the award with the help of politicians. Shubha Raul said that she decided to cancel the mayoral awards for city’s best school teacers because they were mired in controversy. She said that during her tenure, she found that despite focusing on the training and grooming of teachers and trying to improve education quality in municipal schools, teachers and corporators were lobbying for the awards. Recently, a municipal education officer was beaten up by NCP activists for not calling their candidate (teacher) for an interview for the best teacher award. Raul further said that the civic body has more than 1.20 lakh employees in various departments including medical, sewage and hydraulic and why should awards be given to only teachers? The award is presented to 50 teachers by the mayor on Teacher’s Day on September 5 – Radhakrishnan’s birth anniversary – every year. The awardees get Rs 25, 000 each and a certificate.
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