While terming the opposition's charges totally baseless, Punjab School Education Minister Mr Vijay Inder Singla, on Tuesday, said that the school education department had not at all increased the probation period of newly recruited teachers from 3 to 4 years. The cabinet minister said that rather, the department has been quite sympathetic towards the genuine problems of the teachers which was quite evident from the fact that the 3,582 teachers recruited in border areas, have been allowed to apply for transfer after two years of service.The cabinet minister said that 'The Punjab Education (Posting Of Teachers In Disadvantageous Area) Bill, 2021, passed today in Vidhan Sabha, is aimed to ensure availability of teachers in educationally disadvantageous areas of Punjab. He added that the objective of the bill was to regulate the postings of teachers upon their initial recruitment in order to ensure availability of teachers in educationally disadvantageous areas where usually posts of teachers remain vacant.The minister said that by passing the new bill, the education department would offer postings to newly recruited teachers near their homes as apart from the border districts, several other educational blocks have been included in the educationally disadvantageous area. He added that these educational blocks would be the areas where twenty percent or more posts of teachers remained vacant during the recruitment year and would be reviewed every year.Mr Vijay Inder Singla said that the opposition leaders were misleading the people with false claims that the Punjab government will extend the probation of teachers from three to four years by passing this bill. He added that the bill contained customary language regarding probation which was being misinterpreted by the opposition. He added that the department of personnel had already notified in October 2017 that the total period of probation including extension, if any, shall not exceed four years, of recruited by the direct appointment and three years if appointed otherwise.He also shared the provision of the bill which has been dealing with the probation period of the teachers.The provision reads, "The Department invariably recruits teachers almost every year. The new teachers recruited are required to remain on probation for a period of three years, which is extendable to four years, and such teachers need to be posted in Disadvantages Area having shortage of teachers."The minister said that the probation period of teachers would be extended only in a special case where the performance of an employee could not be found satisfactory during his or her initial years.