No TET for teachers of minority schools

The High Court on Wednesday held that the Government Order (GO) insisting that teachers should pass TET would not be applicable to aided and unaided minority institutions. However, it asked the minority institutions to consider conducting a refresher course for all teachers to improve their quality. A division bench comprising Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice MV Muralidharan, while dealing with a batch of over 200 petitions which primarily challenged GO Ms.No.181, which made a pass in TET mandatory for appointment as teacher, held, "The government cannot insist upon the minority institutions, both aided or unaided, to abide by any regulation framed under the provisions of the Right to Education Act." Though the government had brought in TET to do away with discrimination among teachers working in minority and non-minority schools and also to ensure uniformity in teaching, the bench pointed out, "In view of the apex court's decision in Pramati Educational and Cultural Trust, the government cannot take shelter under the guise of discrimination to impose restrictions on minority institutions." Taking into account the larger interest in which the government had issued the GO, the court asked the minority institutions to consider conducting a refresher course and some interactive sessions for all theit teachers during the annual vacation, in order to improve the quality of teachers. It also directed the govt to release the salary of the teachers and pay the arrears within two months from the date of receipt of a copy of the order. The teachers had contended that persons who underwent either Teachers Training Course or Diploma in Teachers Education alone were eligible for appointment either as BT Assistants or Secondary Grade Teachers. Therefore, there could not be any doubt about their eligibility for appointment. Once they had been appointed as teachers, they could not be expected to write an exam and get qualified much later.