Calcutta, March 24: Calcutta High Court today passed an interim order allowing the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to conduct the primary teacher eligibility test (TET) on the scheduled date of March 30 bringing relief to nearly 20 lakh candidates seeking jobs in nearly 32,000 vacant teaching posts in primary schools across the state.
Justice Biswanath Somadder passed the interim order on petitions moved by Prativa Mondal and some other candidates who had challenged the legality of the board’s decision to allow untrained candidates to write the March 30 test.
The petitioners had claimed that the candidates who did not have certificates of completing the primary teachers’ training courses were not eligible to write the primary TET.
Today’s order surprised many as only a week ago Justice Debasish Kargupta had passed an interim order restraining the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) from conducting the TET SSC for appointing teachers in secondary schools for teaching students between Classes V and VIII.
Justice Kargupta had passed the interim order staying the TET SSC on a similar petition that was moved by some candidates who had BEd degrees who challenged the legality of the SSC’s decision to allow those who had not done their BEd to write the test.
The TET SSC was scheduled for March 29 but it had to be deferred for an indefinite period following Justice Kargupta’s interim order.
Justice Somadder, while passing the interim order on TET primary today, imposed some conditions on the board. The order said the board would have to abide by the final order of the case for declaring the results of the primary TET.
Another condition set by the Justice Somadder was that the primary education board will have to appoint candidates who have the primary teachers training certificates first. The untrained candidates can be given appointment after accommodating all the trained candidates.
“The issues concerning the TET SSC and TET primary may be the same. But the two judges have judged the case in different ways. Justice Kargupta had held that the TET SSC should be held after settling the dispute over the issue on whether untrained candidates are eligible to sit for the test or not. Justice Somadder today allowed the primary board to take the TET primary exam on March 30 on the condition that the result of examination would have to published on the basis of the final order of the case,” advocate Rabishankar Chatterjee said.
Justice Somadder today adjourned the hearing of the case for four weeks.
Moving the petition on behalf of Mondal and others, advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya said that according to regulations of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), the national body that regulates teacher education in the country, only primary teacher training certificate holders are eligible to sit for the primary teacher recruitment test.