Monday, 30th October 2017

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TET in hand, jobless youths prod CM

Delegation of 150 TET-qualified representatives from across Jharkhand observes a three-day sit-in near Raj Bhavan

By Raj Kumar in Ranchi
  • Published 14.02.20, 12:21 AM
  • Updated 14.02.20, 12:21 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
TET-qualified candidates stage a sit-in in front of Raj Bhavan in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra

Over 50,000 candidates who qualified the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) in 2016, and had been expecting a quick decision on their appointment in government schools after the change of guard in Jharkhand, have started getting restless.

A delegation of 150 TET-qualified representatives from across Jharkhand observed a three-day sit-in near Raj Bhavan that ended on Wednesday and took out a candlelight march the same evening. On Thursday, they tried to meet chief minister Hemant Soren, but in vain.

Mohammed Mubarak Hussain, a TET qualified candidate from Sahebganj district, said they were getting desperate as time was running out.

“Over 53,000 candidates across the state qualified TET in 2016 but none of them was called for counselling so far. Nearly four years have gone by waiting,” Hussain said. “We are all getting older, we all need jobs. Our lives are on hold.”

Another successful TET candidate, Raj Kumar Mahto, echoed Hussain.

“When the JMM was not in power, Hemant Soren had said (during campaigns) that he would strongly take up our cause if voted to power. Well, he is in power now, but we see no initiative from the government’s side for us. We are sitting idle without jobs for years despite having the qualifications to teach. Today (Thursday) we went to the chief minister’s residence to meet him and tell him about our problems in person, but after waiting for more than two hours, we had to leave as no one allowed us to meet the CM,” Mahto said.

School education and literacy minister Jagarnath Mahto of the JMM could not be contacted on his cellphone in the afternoon by The Telegraph.

A little later, around 4pm, the minister’s phone was answered by someone who identified himself as Pankaj Kumar, Mahto’s personal media handler. “The issue of TET qualified youths is on the minister’s mind,” he said.

School education and literacy department secretary A.P. Singh blamed technical glitches behind the delay.

“The issue of the local (domicile) policy, which is linked to government job appointments, is pending with Jharkhand High Court. Till that is resolved, it is tough to call anyone for counselling (for government jobs),” Singh said. “If there is any development, the directive will be advertised.”

Singh added that a big step had been taken last year in February in view of the delay.

“The validity of the TET qualification has been increased from five to seven years. So candidates need not worry whether their qualifications are valid or not (after four years). We also appointed as many as 18,000 teachers in 2019,” Singh said.

Parimal Kumar, state president of the union of TET qualified candidates, JTET Uttirn Shikshak Bahali Morcha, said they were getting tired of hearing about technical snags.

“We keep hearing one reason or the other. I only know one thing. Those who qualified TET in 2013 were given more than 10 opportunities to participate in counselling and get a job in government schools. But those who qualified TET in 2016 like us were not even given a single opportunity,” Kumar said.