Tripura to move SC for extension to over 10,000 teachers

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Agartala, May 31 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance government in Tripura would soon submit a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court to extend the services of 10,323 government teachers for two more years, a minister said here on Thursday after a cabinet meeting.

On March 29 last year, the Supreme Court had upheld a Tripura High Court verdict to terminate the services of 10,323 government teachers on grounds of wrongdoing.

But following the appeal of the previous Left Front government, the apex court had extended their services up to June this year.

“The state cabinet today (Thursday) decided to submit an SLP before the Supreme Court to extend the services of 10,323 government teachers up to June 2020. If their services are not extended, lakhs of students would be deprived of getting proper education in 4,928 government schools,” Education and Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath told the media.

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He said that already the state government has vacant posts of 12,222 teachers and these posts could not be filled up as there are huge shortages of qualified candidates with professional degrees.

The Minister said that the state has only six B.Ed (Bachelor of Education) colleges to provide professional degrees and diploma to the would be teachers.

“Managing of large numbers of teachers with professional degrees could not be possible as the required degrees or diploma could not be provided from these small number of B. Ed colleges.”

According to the minister, currently 40,658 teachers are providing education to 7.29 lakh students in 4,928 government schools.

The BJP government earlier urged the Centre for a one-time relaxation in academic and other qualifications to facilitate recruitment of 12,222 teachers to overcome their shortage in the state.

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Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb recently met the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra in New Delhi and took up the teachers’ recruitment issue.

“Deb told Mishra that if the Human Resource Development Ministry did not relax the academic and other qualifications of teachers as laid down by the NCTE (National Council For Teacher Education), the state would not be able to recruit 12,222 teachers,” an official posted in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) here said.

According to the Right of the Child to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act of 2009 and NCTE guidelines, Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) is mandatory for recruitment of teachers in government schools.

To appear for the TET, the candidate ought to have 50 per cent marks in certain subjects and a Bachelor’s degree or Diploma in Elementary Education or Diploma in Education.

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The HRD Ministry had earlier relaxed the minimum qualification norms for teachers, as notified by the NCTE, for Assam and West Bengal.

The teachers’ recruitment was a key political issue ahead of the February 18 Assembly elections in Tripura as the Supreme Court had upheld a Tripura High Court verdict to terminate the services of 10,323 government teachers on the ground of discrepancies during the rule of the Left Front government.

–IANS

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