Guwahati, June 10: The All Assam Students Union and All Assam Tribal Sangha today demanded that Dispur should conduct a special teacher eligibility test (TET) for candidates from indigenous communities in the state immediately.
Both the organisations alleged that there was largescale conversion of the schoolteachers’ posts reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) category to general category in the TET lists prepared for appointment in lower primary and upper primary schools in the state.
The state government last month distributed appointment letters among 26,109 candidates who cleared the TET.
“Of 2,395 teachers posts reserved for ST (plains), the government de-reserved 1,353 posts and converted them into general category on the ground that there were no suitable candidates for ST (p). It also de-reserved 1,158 posts of 1,198 reserved for ST (hills). Such exercise is a violation of the provisions of the Assam SCs and STs (Reservation in Posts and Vacancies) Act, 1978. If the government could not find suitable candidates from the ST category it should have conducted fresh TET for such categories. It cannot de-reserve such posts in such a hurried manner,” the general secretary of the tribal sangha, Aditya Khaklari, said.
He said the list of the selected candidates revealed that the education department converted hundreds of reserved posts meant for the ST categories, to the general categories without prior concurrence of the welfare of plains tribes and backward classes department.
The tribal group held a meeting with the AASU at a hotel here on the issue.
Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government had followed the reservation policy in appointment of TET teachers and there no genuine indigenous candidates were deprived from getting jobs.
AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said the union had no objection against the selected TET candidates, who received their appointment letters last month.
He, however, said the AASU would not tolerate deprivation of indigenous candidates from getting teaching jobs. “Chief minister Tarun Gogoi must intervene in the matters,” Bhattacharyya said.
The demand of AASU and the sangha came two days after Dispur issued a subtle warning to schoolteachers opposing the appointment of TET-qualified teachers by asking them to fall in line or see their institutions close down by January under the Right to Education Act guidelines.
On Friday, Sarma said he saw no reason why Shikshamitras in some areas should oppose the appointment of TET-qualified teachers as the Supreme Court had ruled on May 8 that nobody could be appointed as teachers without qualifying TET after 2001.