HC stays Bengal teacher recruitment examination

In a blow to the Trinamool Congress government, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday order a stay on primary teacher recruitment examination scheduled for December 30.

Justice Debasish Kargupta directed the state government to file an affidavit within two weeks. The case is likely come up for hearing in the end of January.

On October 17, the state government had issued a notification for recruitment of over 34,000 primary school teachers across the state the biggest teacher hiring exam in recent years. However, the notification was challenged in the High Court since the government made no distinction between both "trained" those who have completed Diploma in Education( DED) course and "untrained" candidates. According to the notification, both the types of candidates have to appear for the same examination.

Over seven hundreds "trained" candidates filed a plea in the High Court saying the notification violated the legal provision framed by the National Council For Teachers Education (NCTE).The petition contended that "trained" candidates cannot be put on the same pedestal with the "untrained" candidates.

The NCTE, which was made a party in the case, also objected to the government notification saying that at first the vacant posts should be filled up with "trained" candidates followed by "untrained" candidates.

However, government counsel Ashoke Banerjee on Thursday rejected the contention of making a distinction between "trained" and "untrained" candidates saying no special training was required to teach children A, B, C, D. He also said that it was not mandatory for the government to follow the provisions of the NCTE for hiring primary school teachers.

After the court order, officials of the Higher Education Department said they will revise the recruitment process. A meeting is scheduled to be held next week in this regard, they said.

Meanwhile, hundred of youths who have completed their teacher's training and had gathered outside heaved a sigh of relief after the court order. Pintu Barui, general secretary of West Bengal Primary Teachers' Training Students' Union, said: "We have sent several letters to Chief Minister and Education Minister urging them to conduct separate examination but they failed to hear our voice."Teachers needed? 34,000 or 54,000

When the governmment issued the notification in October on hiring primary school teachers, it said that over 34,000 candidates will be recruited. But during the hearing in the High Court, the counsel for the government told the bench that 54,000 people will be hired. It also said that 55 lakh people have applied for the posts. There are about 16,000 candidates who have completed DED course, the government told the court.

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