Madras high court on Tuesday said candidates aspiring to become teachers and whose certificates were verified between May 2010 and February 2011 need not appear for the mandatory Teachers Eligibility Test (TET).
Delivering the judgement on review petitions filed by 94 teacher trainees, a Division Bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Vengopal granted relief to them after dismissing their petitions by another Division Bench.
In May 2010, over 32,000 qualified candidates having teacher education diploma were sponsored by various employment exchanges on seniority as well as communal reservation basis for teacher selection process. Their certificates were verified between May 12, 2010 and February 2011.
On August 23, 2010, the Centre notified the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act), as per which a Teachers’ Eligibility Test was made mandatory for appointment of teachers for Class VI to Class VIII.
Two TET exams were held by the state government, which had seen less than one per cent pass percentage, resulting in teacher training qualified candidates resenting the selection process by a mandatory test, instead of seniority of registration in employment exchanges.
A batch of 94 such candidates had filed a writ petition, which was dismissed on March 1 last year.
Their appeal too was dismissed in July last year. In their present petition, filed by advocates R Sudha and C Uma, they said they were sponsored for selection and their certificate verification too was completed. Hence they should be exempted from writing the TET.
Advocate general A L Somayaji assisted by additional government pleader P Sanjay Gandhi, however, said mere sponsoring of names by employment exchange and calling of candidates for certificate verification, by themselves could not be termed selection. The question of appointment would arise only if a candidate is selected for the post, he said.
The bench pointed out that Clause 5 of the RTE Act notification made it clear that candidates who had taken part in selection process prior to the Aug 23 2010 notification date need not write the TET.
After the AG said no vacancies were available for teachers as on date, the judge said “we direct the authorities to accommodate the review petitioners in future vacancies, without insisting on them to appear for the TET.”