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Panel mulls TET appeal

The school service commission is set to file multiple appeals in an attempt to ensure that all candidates for the March 29 teacher eligibility test that the high court has stayed are able to write the rescheduled exam.

Sources said the council would appeal to the high court, human resource development ministry and the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE).

The rescheduled test will be held only after the Lok Sabha polls.

Chandrapida Neelap, the eastern region director of the NCTE, told Metro from Bhubaneswar: “We are trying to find out whether it would be a violation of the council norm if the West Bengal School Service Commission allows non-BEd students to write the test after March 31. We will also ascertain whether the commission can recruit candidates without a BEd degree after March 31.”

The NCTE had in 2009 made it mandatory for candidates being appointed as schoolteachers to have a BEd degree.

For Bengal the deadline was deferred to March 31, 2014, on condition that all untrained candidates being hired as schoolteachers till then would get their BEd degrees within two years of recruitment.

Of the around 5.33 lakh candidates who have enrolled for the test that was to be held on March 29, nearly 80 per cent do not have a B.Ed degree.

The commission had planned to appoint around 12,000 teachers through the test.

On Thursday, the high court stayed the March 29 test, plunging into doubt the eligibility of the 4lakh-plus candidates without a BEd degree.

Commission chairman Subiresh Bhattacharya said: “We will consult the legal department once we get a copy of the order and take steps to ensure all candidates are allowed to write the rescheduled test.”

The court will hear the matter again on April 21. “At the next hearing we will plead with the judge to allow all candidates, including those without a BEd degree, to write the rescheduled test,” said a commission official.

The official said the commission would appeal to NCTE to extend the deadline for recruiting non-BEd candidates as teachers to March 2015. A similar appeal would also be sent to the human resource development ministry.

An official said the council had made it clear while deferring the deadline for Bengal that non-BEd candidates would neither be allowed to write the teacher eligibility test nor be hired as teachers after March 31, 2014.

“Now that the test will be held after the Lok Sabha elections, what is the guarantee that we would be appointed even if we manage to crack it,” said a candidate who does not have a BEd degree.

The high court stayed the test in response to petitions moved by 70 candidates who had cleared TET last year but weren’t recruited. They had been asked to take the test again on March 29.

The petitioner’s lawyer submitted that untrained candidates could not be recruited even if they cracked the March 29 test because the recruitment process would continue well after the deadline.