Teachers who did not pass the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) cannot continue in service, the Madras High Court ruled on Thursday.
Justice D Krishnakumar gave the ruling while dismissing a batch of writ petitions, and directed the authorities concerned to ensure strict compliance of the instructions issued by the School Education Secretary vide letter dated May 2, 2019, failing which appropriate action shall be taken in accordance with law. The authorities shall also ensure strict compliance of the guidelines issued by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in February, 2021 by conducting TET examination once in every year so as to enable the teachers to qualify themselves, the judge said.
The judge lamented that despite lapse of many years after the enactment of RTE Act in 2009, the said statutory provision has not been complied with and the petitioners and (other) teachers are allowed to continue in service without possessing the minimum eligibility condition of pass in TET, as per Section 23 of the Act and also as per the RTE (Amendment Act), 2017.
It is mandatory for the teachers, who did not possess the minimum qualification of passing TET prior to the 2019 RTE Act to acquire the same within nine years i.e., within March 31, 2019.
”Thus, the teachers, who do not possess the minimum qualification of pass in TET are not entitled to continue their service in the schools/educational institutions,” the judge said.
The court was dismissing a batch of writ petitions from one K Vasudevan and eight others praying for a direction to the authorities concerned to sanction annual increment to them in a city-based school from 2012 as well as the incentive increment for having acquired B Sc (Maths) without reference to passing of TET with all consequential and other attendant benefits, based on their representation submitted in December last year.