In what can spell trouble for thousands of teachers across Maharashtra,
the Bombay High Court has refused to be ‘sympathetic’ to them and said
they would have to appear for the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) or
leave their jobs.
The HC further said if these primary school
teachers do not want to get qualified under the TET, then they must make
way for more qualified persons as free education along with ‘quality’
The important order was passed by a bench of
Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Riyaz Chagla while disposing of a
bunch of petitions filed by teachers challenging the communication of
the Director of Education (Primary) mandating all teachers to appear for
the TET exams, which are scheduled to take place in March.
this communication, the authorities have clarified that the services of
teachers who fail to undergo the TET exams will be terminated, and if
they are not sacked by the school managements, then their salaries will
have to be borne by them as the government would not pay any amount for
The teachers claimed that if they lose their jobs then
there will be a direct impact on the education system and the future of
Having heard the contentions, Justice Dharmadhikari
said, “Ultimately, such policies are framed so as to improve the quality
of education. The quality of education can be improved only when
totally eligible and duly qualified persons are appointed as teachers.”
those who are aware that they were not qualified but have been given an
opportunity to obtain the qualification and are unable to do so must
give way to those who possess such qualifications.
invoke nothing, but the sympathy of this court, apprehending that
thousands of teachers would be terminated or would lose employment and
would have an adverse impact on education,” the bench said.
bench further pointed out that if primary education is funded by the
state and from public exchequer and public funds, then, equally the
taxpayers can demand from the government, a complete ‘transparency and
fairness’ in the implementation of the policies, including taking harsh
and penal measures.
“This expectation (of protective orders) is
uncalled as it defeats the very purpose of The Right of Children to Free
and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
The object and purpose are
to make primary education free and compulsory. However, this is not at
the cost of quality,” Justice Dharmadhikari held.
further observed that primary education shapes the mind and personality
of a child and if the right values are not inculcated and imbibed at
this early age, s/he would not be interested in education.
brief order, the bench has said that if there is a direction from the
union government, then it would not allow the state to deviate from the
rigour of the same. “We are of the firm opinion that none of the
teachers have a vested or fundamental right to question such policy.”
They must realise that they have no right to continue if they fail to
clear the test and they cannot dictate to the government or to this
court that no such tests should be held and that their job should be
protected,” the bench said.