CHENNAI: After facing pay cuts, the future of more than 1,500 teachers working in Tamil Nadu government and government-aided schools is at stake after Madras High Court made it clear that teachers without Teacher’s Eligibility Test (TET) can’t continue in their jobs.
In accordance with the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act), the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) had made TET a mandatory requirement to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in Classes 1 to 8.
Secondary grade teachers, who teach Classes 1 to 5, would have to pass TET paper-I. Likewise, graduate teachers, who handle Classes 5 to 8, would have to complete TET paper II.
A senior official from the School Education Department seeking anonymity told DT Next that there are about 1,800 teachers, who were not qualified for TET, which was held for the first time in 2011.
“These teachers were recruited in 2011 on the condition that they needed to clear TET within five years from the appointment date”, he said adding following several requests, this was extended by another two years”.
Pointing out that the teacher’s recruitment board has conducted three TET exams since the NCTE notification, the official claimed that over 1,800 teachers had failed to clear TET despite three attempts.
“They also had pay cuts. However, the official said, keeping note of their financial expenses, the salary was given”.
Stating that currently there are about 1,500 teachers from the earlier 1,800 who have not completed TET since about 300 got promotions as headmasters and other senior positions, he said “after the court order, the authorities were ‘bewildered’ state whether to give another final chance for the affected teachers by conducting TET if the court allows to do it”.
The official said if the court does not allow to conduct of the TET exam for the affected teachers, they would likely face action as per the court orders.
Meanwhile, there are about 30,000 teaching aspirants, who completed TET and were on the waitlist to get government jobs.
Tamil Nadu TET qualified teachers forum’s coordinator M Elangovan said that he had already met the School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi to fill all the vacancies that arose due to non-qualification of TET.