TNTET : Court faults govt's teacher hiring policy
Candidate Recruited as Teacher At the Age of 57 year due to Seniority in Employment Exchange
CHENNAI: Appointing teachers based solely on seniority of their registration in the employment exchange is disastrous, the Madras high court has said.
"The policy has resulted in persons who had crossed more than 50 or 55 years being appointed as teachers. I have had cases of persons who were appointed at the age of 57, only to retire within a year," rued Justice V Ramasubramanian.
Passing orders on a batch of petitions filed by computer instructors in schools, seeking not to be terminated from service, Justice Ramasubramanian said: "It is unfortunate that instead of 'excellence' having a date with 'education,' it is 'employment' that has today eloped with 'education'."
The judge also made it clear that he would not issue any direction to the government to take seniority in employment as the sole criterion to appoint teachers. "It is impossible for me to close my eyes and give a direction to the authorities to make recruitment solely on the basis of seniority of registration in the employment exchange. It is my duty to point out that the hands of the government are not fettered today, to evolve a process for selection of qualified and competent teachers," he said.
He pointed out that in July 2012 only 0.34% of 7.14 lakh candidates cleared the teacher eligibility test. When a supplementary examination was held, only 2.9% of 6.43 lakh candidates cleared it. Pointing out that the state had 685 teacher training institutes churning out about 73,000 students every year, the judge said, "The quality of teacher education is such that when the Teachers Recruitment Board conducted the eligibility test, the pass percentage was so low."
The petitioners were among 1,880 computer instructors appointed in government schools in 1999 on a consolidated pay of Rs 1,500 a month. Their selection was set aside by the high court in 2006 on a petition by teachers registered with the employment exchange. On an appeal, a division bench upheld their selection after the government said that it planned to conduct a special test as a one-time measure. The matter reached the Supreme Court and in the meanwhile, the government conducted the special test in October 2008. As 50% marks was the cut-off, out of 1,686 candidates only 857 qualified. The government then brought down the qualifying marks to 35% and another 829 candidates qualified.
In July 2009, the SC permitted the government to absorb only those who had scored 50% and above and said other could be allowed to rewrite test. Termination notices were served on those who could not clear the test in the second attempt too. While these teachers challenged the termination, those on employment exchange register wanted the court to direct the authorities to recruit them as per seniority.
News Source / Sabhaar : Times of India News Network( TNN May 20, 2013, 02.14AM IST)