Teacher Eligibility Test for What?

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) recently issued the guidelines to J&K UT and Ladakh UT to make future recruitment of teachers as per NCTE regulations.

The MHRD has also directed that Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) or Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) will have to be conducted for future recruitment of teachers as well.

It created a debate that whether the candidates will be able to qualify the eligibility test get a job in the school education department. It also raised hopes among people that a filtered lot will be appointed as teachers who will at least bring some academic reforms to the schools where the learning outcomes of students have remained grim over the past years.

While the educated unemployed youth are hopeful to get the teaching jobs in the education department, the issue has gone unnoticed that the department has not referred any post to the recruiting agency for past three years.

So, the introduction of TET doesn’t make any sense in J&K for almost 15 years.

Earlier, the school education department would advertise vacant posts after every two years and to fill the vacancies in schools. The last recruitment was made in early 2017 for which the posts were advertised in 2017.

It seems so interesting that the MHRD is making efforts to make the recruitment more filtered but there are no jobs available for J&K’s qualified youth.

The qualified unemployed youth are running from pillar to post appealing the governor administration to advertise the teacher post in the school education, but the government is caught in a catch 22 situation as no post is available in the department

After every year, there is surge in the number of educated unemployed youth with no chance of job in school education department.

The department has utilized all the vacant posts of teachers to adjust the erstwhile SSA teachers. Not only the teaching posts but the department has also consumed the available non-teaching posts to accommodate SSA teachers who were absorbed in the department as Grade II and Grade III teachers.

If we decode the regularization process of SSA teachers, it means no jobs for next 15 years in the department. I am not against the absorption of SSA teachers in the department but the government could have at least applied another formula to adjust these teachers. These SSA teachers had to struggle for years together to get owned by the department. But the government owned them at the cost of the thousands of highly qualified unemployed youth.

The erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers were absorbed in January 2018 and the order issued by state administrative council (SAC) accorded sanction for creation of grade-II cadre of teachers in school education department, with effect from September 2018.

It also approved creation of 28,363 existing and anticipated vacant posts of General Line Teachers (GLTs) to equivalent number of posts of grade-11 teachers.

This was done to absorb the SSA teachers on substentative posts in the department in order to make them eligible for all service benefits like other state employees working in different government department. The government also approved conversion of 4522 direct quota of non-teaching posts in different categories to an equivalent number of posts of teachers- Grade II.

The decision resolved the long pending demand of the SSA teachers for releasing their salary, as per 7th pay commission grade and de-linking it from MHRD funding. But on the other hand it closed the opportunities of government job in the department for next 15 years.

It is also a fact that the finance department was not willing to regularise the SSA teachers as it had to manage whopping funds for their salary. That is why the education department was asked to close the ReT scheme as it was being misused by elected government to please vote bank and recruit people.

The darker side of regularization of erstwhile teachers is that no posts will be referred to SSRB for further recruitment. But to overcome the problem, the government can convert these posts into supernumerary and go for direct recruitment again.

The government had claimed of providing job opportunities to the educated unemployed youth after up gradation of middle and high schools. But no recruitment was made for teacher posts even after the government up graded hundreds of middle and high schools in J&K.

Three years have passed now and the government has not been able to find a solution; only a magic wand can help the government to overcome the problem. The authorities cannot overlook the grave issue.

The government needs to explore and find out a solution to the problem.