Justice D Krishnakumar has made it clear that the test is mandatory even for teachers appointed prior to the RTE Act and the state cannot accord promotion bypassing the test which is mandated under a statute.
“…The inescapable conclusion would be that every teacher, whether secondary grade or BT Assistant, whether appointed by direct recruitment or by promotion, whether initially appointed prior to the RTE Act, NCTE amended notifications or appointed thereafter, must necessarily possess/acquire the eligibility of a pass in TET,” he said.
The only allowance to those appointed prior to the RTE Act is that they have been given five years initially and another four years from April 1, 2015, to acquire the mandatory eligibility of a pass in TET. Therefore, the claim that secondary grade teachers appointed prior to the commencement of the Act and notifications will now be eligible for promotion to the post of BT Assistant without passing TET, cannot be countenanced, Justice Krishnakumar added.
The court passed the order while allowing a batch of petitions challenging the notifications dated June 30 and July 11 in connection with conducting promotion counselling for the post of BT Assistant.
Quashing the notifications, Justice Krishnakumar directed the school education department to proceed with the promotion counselling by issuing fresh notification for promotion to the post of BT Assistants and headmasters in high schools from among qualified teachers, who possess the minimum eligibility criteria of pass in TET.