The Madras High Court Thursday stayed the termination of services of teachers who have not passed the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) so far. It also observed that the teachers would be seriously prejudiced if no interim order was granted as the state government had not conducted the test in 2018.
A division bench of Justices C V Karthikeyan and Krishnan Ramasamy passed the interim order on a batch of appeals from teachers working in the government and aided schools in Tiruvannamalai and Kallakurichi districts challenging the April 30 order issued by a single judge.
The bench also directed the appellant teachers to appear for the test scheduled to be held on June 8 and 9. It restrained authorities concerned from taking action against them till then and posted the matter for further hearing to June 12.
On Wednesday, the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) had declared that the TET would be conducted on June 8 and 9.
Justice S M Subramaniam had last month ordered the government to issue a show-cause notice, returnable in two weeks, to all ‘unqualified’ teachers, who have not cleared the TET.
In respect of implementing the qualifications, there could not be any leniency or misplaced sympathy by the state government as this would be detrimental to the national educational policy, as well as in the interest of education to be imparted to the children, he had said.
The appellants had contended that they did not find any amendment to the RTE Act fixing March 31, 2019 as the dead line for passing the TET, as pointed out by the judge. In the absence of a date prior to March 31, it is impossible for the appellants to pass the TET before that date, they had said.
According to the RTE Act, it is mandatory for the primary and upper primary teachers to clear the TET to get employment as secondary grade teachers and BT assistants (graduate teachers).
When the matter came up Thursday, the government counsel could not offer any explanation for not conducting the TET in 2018.