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Pass TET to qualify as teacher, says Madras High Court

The Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to issue showcause notice, returnable in two weeks, to all unqualified teachers who have not cleared the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET).

The court sought to know how it could conclude that a teacher was qualifed to continue in the post when the teacher was unable to pass the TET within eight years.

Justice S M Subramaniam, disposing of four petitions by teachers Kasthurba Gandhi Baliga Vidyalaya Residential School, Perungalathur, who failed the test, said Tuesday that 60,000 fully qualified teachers who have cleared it or national eligibility tests were waiting and aspiring to be teachers.

Therefore, there was no reason for the government to retain such unqualified teachers in the post, the judge said.

In respect of implementing the qualifications, there could not be any leniency or misplaced sympathy by the Tamil Nadu 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 said.

"Thus, the authorities competent are bound to initiate appropriate action in the light of the Government of India orders, as well as the minimum educational qualifications prescribed under the RTE Act, as well as by the National Council for Teachers Education.

The judge said every teacher was bound to keep in mind that there cannot be any compromise or leniency in respect of the minium qualifications prescribed by the National Council for Teachers Education, the statutory authority constituted under provisions of the Right to Education Act.

The National Council for Teachers Education is akin to that of the University Grants Commission.

As those who did not pass the TET despite the school and authorities extending the time to attend the test, the school authorities said they would be terminated from the post, against which the four preferred the petitions.

Observing that if the petitioners were not interested in completing the TET, then they were not eligible to continue in the post, the judge said the TET qualification was mandatory.

Therefore, the unqualified teachers were liable to be discharged from service, he said.