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HC bars teachers’ admission

The high court on Friday issued an interim order restraining the 287 state-run open distance learning (ODL) centres from admitting around 17,000 primary teachers to their two-year teachers’ training course.

The division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi, which issued the order, also ruled: “The 30,000-odd primary school teachers who have been admitted to the course offered by the ODL centres will have to abide by the outcome of the case.”

The order followed a petition by some teachers, seeking an order declaring the ODL centres “illegal”.

Moving the petition, Soumen Dutta, counsel appearing for the petitioner teachers, submitted: “The state primary education department has appointed thousands of untrained teachers on condition that they would do the two-year teacher training course within three years of joining the service. Around 30,000 untrained teachers got admitted to the various ODL centres for the course.”

The lawyer continued: “According to rules, the centres offering such courses must have the approval of NCTE, the apex body regulating teacher training in the country. But none of the ODL centres has the approval.”

Dutta pointed out another alleged violation, too. “Any institution offering distance education courses must get their curricula approved by the Distance Education Council of India. The ODL centres have not done so.”

After hearing Dutta, the division bench barred any further admission to the ODL centres till further order and fixed the matter for hearing after three weeks.

The state government had introduced the two-year teacher training course for thousands of in-service teachers who were appointed during the erstwhile Left Front regime.

The NCTE has made it a rule that all teachers must have teacher training certificates in order to be eligible to work as teachers in state-aided schools. The council has also stipulated that the course would be of two years.

Manik Bhattacharya, the president of the state primary education board, which runs the ODL centres, said the units have the NCTE approval.

Traffic disruption

Traffic movement on the EM Bypass, between Science City and Ruby, was affected on Friday morning after a body was spotted lying by the roadside. Police suspect a vehicle hit the victim between 5am and 6am.

The ripple effect continued till 10am.