THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a rare instance the pro-Left and pro-Congress teachers’ unions have joined hands to come up against the government order making Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) applicable to in-service teachers too.
The unions made it clear that no teachers who are already in service will write TET challenging the government to terminate them on a mass scale. The government order number 70 issued on March 1, 2012, says that it has decided to make TET mandatory for appointment of teachers in lower primary, upper primary and high schools.
However, the bone of contention for unions is the decision to make it applicable to in-service teachers too. The order reads, “Accordingly, all teachers in schools should possess the minimum qualifications including TET based on the norms and standards laid down by the NCTE.”
"The NCTE do not lay any norms regarding an eligibility test for teachers in service. The TET is for new appointments. The teachers have in-service training. If the government is adamant on a test, they could conduct a test after the training. The move to make us write TET is demoralising and makes it seem that teachers in government schools are blockheads,” said M Shahjahan, secretary of KSTA, pro-Left teachers union.
KSTA burned copies of the government order at the district offices the other day. They have decided to organise an agitation at dusk on March 23 in districts to plan future course of action. The nine prominent unions are of the opinion that the decision should have come up at the Quality Improvement Project Monitoring Committee for discussion instead of a hastily issued order done in stealth.
GSTU, the pro-Congress union has also come up against the decision. “This is applicable to states where teachers work without proper qualifications and not in a state like Kerala where every single teacher either holds a TTC or a B Ed,” said GSTU secretary J Sasi.
According to teachers, the government might finally relent and ask only the teachers willing to write the exam to do it which could be just another tactic to give promotion to a section of teachers. The Unions have asked the government to make it clear why existing teachers should write the test and why they were not consulted before the decision was taken.