Protests against elementary teachers’ transfer counselling

The Madras High Court had observed that adopting state-level or district-level seniority would resolve many issues in the elementary education department and directed the government to strictly implement this change.
More than 300 TETO-JAC members protested at Don Bosco High School in Vellore, where transfer counselling was being held on Wednesday
More than 300 TETO-JAC members protested at Don Bosco High School in Vellore, where transfer counselling was being held on Wednesday Photo | Express

CHENNAI/VELLORE: About seven months back, the school education department issued a government order (GO 243) designating the state as a unit for consideration of seniority in transfers and promotions for elementary teachers. So far, the counselling process for this was based on seniority in revenue blocks. This change was based on recommendations from the high court.

However, the Tamil Nadu Elementary Teachers Organisations-Joint Action Committee (TETO-JAC) has been protesting the move, arguing that it would negatively impact promotion opportunities for teachers working in the same block for several decades, particularly women.

The Madras High Court had observed that adopting state-level or district-level seniority would resolve many issues in the elementary education department and directed the government to strictly implement this change. According to elementary teachers’ associations, most teachers in elementary schools are women.

“Many of these women have settled with their families in a block for several years, hoping for promotions. Due to this change, women who cannot relocate their families to another district would have to forego promotion opportunities,” said R Doss, Tamil Nadu Elementary Teachers Organisations Joint Action Committee (TETO-JAC).

He added that more than 11 teachers’ associations have opposed the move and will meet on Thursday to decide further action. TETO JAC has conducted protests across all districts at venues where transfer counselling was being held.

More than 300 TETO-JAC members protested at Don Bosco High School in Vellore, where transfer counselling was held. “We halted the counselling process at Don Bosco School for about two hours because 90% of teachers oppose this order. No consultations were made before implementing it,” said Joseph Annaiah, a government primary school headmaster and one of the TETO-JAC organisers.

Meanwhile, officials at the Directorate of Elementary Education stated that the government order was issued based on a court directive. “The order will benefit some teachers and affect others. We are conducting counselling for those who are attending it,” the official said.

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