Agartala, Dec 27 IANS | 8 months ago

The Tripura government has decided to recruit primary school teachers for the first time in 17 years -- that too without conducting the teachers eligibility test (TET), a minister said here Friday.


According to the guidelines of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, TET is mandatory for recruitment of government school teachers.

"The council of ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, at a meeting here Thursday night decided to recruit 4,606 primary school teachers to cope with the shortages of teachers in the junior and senior basic schools," Tripura Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told reporters.

To a question about the consequences of violation of RTE in recruitment of school teachers, the minister said the government took the decision after studying all legal and administrative aspects.

He said: "When Tripura government had started the process to recruit 5,000 teachers and sought applications in 2002, the pre-condition of holding a TET was not in force. Earlier this year, responding to Tripura's demand, HRD (human resource development) ministry has given a one-time exemption from conducting the TET for recruiting the teachers."

"The HRD ministry did not relax the qualification for the recruitment of the 5,000 under-graduate teachers. However, the HRD ministry has asked the state government to conduct the TET within two years after the recruitment of these 5,000 teachers."

The minister said that subsequently, the opposition Congress has asked the central government not to give any exemption on TET and qualification for the recruitment of the school teachers.

"Over 80 lakh teachers have been teaching in 13 lakh schools across the country and they have not faced the TET. Over 22 crore students are studying in 13 lakh schools in India," Chakraborty said.

"It would take some time to fulfill all the guidelines of the RTE act in the state," he added.

Senior Congress leader Ratan Lal Nath welcomed the Left government's decision and asked the state government to protect the new teachers from legal tangles in the future.

"Not to recruit teachers for 17 years is a gross fault of the government. Priority must be given to those job seekers who have applied first in this regard," Nath told reporters.

The recruitment of school teachers in Tripura stopped in 1997.

The controversy over the TET began last year when state Congress chief Sudip Roy Barman wrote to the HRD ministry not to give any waiver to the Tripura government on the matter.

"I have informed the union human resource development minister that the Tripura government was trying to ignore the provision of the RTE. Recruitment of teachers without TET would decline the quality of education," Barman had said.

(Posted on 27-12-2013)