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Maharashtra: 7,000 elementary teachers face termination for failing to clear TET

February 11, 2020

As many as 7,000 Maharashtra elementary school teachers are set to lose their jobs for failing to meet the additional requirement of clearing teachers’ eligibility test (TET) in time. Vacating an earlier interim stay, the Bombay High Court last week allowed the state government to go ahead with implementing its policy. Clearing TET is mandatory for elementary teachers teaching standards I to VIII.

A division bench including justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice RI Chagla refused to interfere with the policy decision primarily because it was in larger public interest. The bench said that ultimately such policies are framed so as to improve the quality of education. It can only be achieved when totally eligible and duly qualified persons are appointed as teachers. The bench added, “Those who are familiar with the subjects and who cleared the necessary tests alone can be expected to impart quality education.”

It also noted that primary education shapes the mind and personality of a child. “If the right values are not inculcated and imbibed at this early age and the child is not exposed to subjects like languages, basic mathematics, social studies, he would not be interested in education. The teachers have to inculcate the value and importance of education in them. The same cannot be left to parents and society as a whole,” the bench said.

The court was hearing a number of petitions filed by individual teachers challenging the orders issued by the director of education to terminate elementary teachers who failed to clear the TET by March 30, 2019. The requirement of TET was introduced by the National Council of Teachers Education (NCTE), as the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. It lays down the requirement of a test over and above the basic qualifications like B.Ed. and D. Ed.

The NCTE introduced the TET in August 2010. The state government adopted the policy three years later, in March 2013. In November 2017 the state government set March 30, 2019 as the last date for clearing TET for elementary teachers and decided that those failing to clear the exam will be terminated.

The state government also stopped disbursing salaries of the 7,000 elementary teachers with effect from January 1, 2020. 

Recommended: Maharashtra: Teacher competence crisis

Source: Hindustan Times

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