School faces action over appointment of principal ‘past retirement age’

Kenneth Misquitta

Following a complaint from an NGO, the state school education department has cracked the whip on the management of St Mary's School at Mazagaon for appointing a principal in violation of the retirement age regulations. Kenneth Misquitta, 68, was appointed as principal in 2011, although he was well past the retirement age, said officials of the education department.

In its January 14 order, the education department has asked the school to relieve Misquitta from the post with immediate effect or face action.

Misquitta told Newsline that he had not yet received an "official" copy of the order. He, however, said, "As far as I know, the rules and regulations for aided schools differ from those of ICSE and other non-SSC schools. The ICSE Council/Board has no rule about retirement age. I have personally verified this point." St Mary's is an ICSE school.

According to the school education department officials, the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (MEPS) (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977 Section 3(1) is applicable to all private schools, including those following the CBSE, ICSE, IB or IGCSE board. According to this, an employee of a private school must retire after 58.

"According to this rule, norms and regulations stipulated by the state government will be applicable to all privates schools. The retirement age as per the rule is 58 years. However, the current age of Fr Kenneth Misquitta is 68 years. He was appointed by the school management in 2011 as the principal at the age of 66. This is a clear violation and so the appointment stands invalid," said Balasaheb Mane, the education inspector of south zone.

He added, "We have now directed the management to relieve Misquitta from the post of principal with immediate effect and also give a report of the same to the education department; however, failing which all the documents, whether official school documents or marksheets of students if signed by Misquitta, will be declared invalid and unacceptable."

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