Hamro Party chief Ajoy Edwards has expressed concern about the answer scripts of the teacher eligibility test (TET).
The TET was held by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) on February 14, 2021, but its results have not yet been declared till date and the exam has been embroiled in a controversy.
The GTA has maintained that the answer scripts of 12,094 candidates who appeared for the examination have been kept in sealed strongrooms at Lewis Jubilee, an administrative building of the GTA in Darjeeling.
Edwards, also an elected GTA Sabha member, sought an inspection of the strongroom. In a recent letter to the chairman, Darjeeling district school board, he demanded that they be allowed to inspect the strong room. “...Arrangements may please be made from your kind end regarding inspection of “Strong Room” where the answer scripts of TET, 2021, is being kept for more than 02 (two) years. We are worried about the conditions in which the answer scripts may have been kept,” wrote Edwards.
Sources in the GTA said that tenure of the Darjeeling district board chairman ended in August and no appointment had been made.
“The papers have been kept in the strongroom with the police as witness. We are not sure whether the strongroom can just be opened and shown even if the letter is written by an elected Sabha member,” said a source. “Anyone can raise the issue of tampering if the seal is broken.”
Edwards threatened to visit the strong room without “further communications.”
The hill TET has become embroiled in a major row after a state education department official in an RTI reply to a Hamro Party member stated that the West Bengal Board of Primary Education is the competent authority to conduct TET in all the districts of Bengal, not the GTA. Following the RTI, several quarters alleged that the TET was “fake” and Thapa had held the exams only to woo voters before the Bengal Assembly polls.
Raju Bista, BJP MP from Darjeeling, recently wrote to the CBI for a probe. Hamro Party has filed an FIR against GTA officials and has demanded a refund of exam fees for over 14,000 candidates.
GTA chief Anit Thapa, however, has defended the decision to conduct TET, citing hill education came under the GTA’s domain as it was a transferred subject.