CHENNAI: Affirming that no teacher, recruited before the RTE Act 2009 came into force or after, can continue without passing the teacher eligibility test (TET), the Madras High Court has rejected the pleas of secondary school teachers seeking promotions to the post of BT Assistants (graduates) and headmasters of government high schools without clearing TET.
“... every teacher whether secondary-grade or BT Assistant, whether appointed by direct recruitment or promotion in the case of BT Assistant, whether initially appointed prior to the RTE Act, NCTE amended notifications or appointed thereafter, must necessarily possess/acquire the eligibility of a pass in TET (sic),” Justice D Krishnakumar said in a recent order.
The only allowance to those recruited before RTE Act came into force was the nine-year window to clear TET. Therefore, the claim that secondary-grade teachers appointed prior to the commencement of the act and notifications were eligible for promotion to the post of BT Assistant without passing TET could not be accepted, the judge said.
Noting that TET was mandatory for all in-service teachers recruited before RTE Act was enforced, he rejected the claim of the teachers and subsequently quashed the impugned notification of the commissioner of school education to conduct promotion counselling, though it had been postponed.
“The respondents are directed to proceed with the promotion counselling by issuing fresh notification for promotion to the post of BT Assistants and headmasters in high schools from among qualified teachers, who possess the minimum eligibility criteria of pass in TET (sic),” the judge ordered.
He dismissed the petitions filed by the teachers claiming that TET was not mandatory for them since they had joined well before the act was enforced and allowed the petitions seeking redrawing of promotion list by including only those cleared TET.