The State Government has banned teachers in Government and aided schools from availing long leave to pursue full-time higher education courses while in service.
The Government Order stated that teachers cannot avail leave to pursue regular courses such as Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), which required minimum of one year to complete.
This practice was found to have an adverse impact on students of Government schools, many of which had trouble finding replacement teachers.
However, teachers in aided schools, which received funding from the Government but were run by private managements who had gained admission this year before the G.O. was issued (July 22) were exempt from this ban.
Nevertheless, they cannot avail medical leave for this purpose and could use only their earned or personal leave. If these teachers required more time than the number of leave days they had, the excess days would be categorised as ‘loss of pay’.
The G.O. also noted that many universities had distance education centres offering B.Ed. and other postgraduate courses in related disciplines through correspondence mode.
The teachers in Government and aided schools were being accorded permission to take such courses through distance education centres.
While most educational institutions in Tamil Nadu offered one-year B.Ed. course, Indira Gandhi National Open University offered two-year course.
Sources in the School Education Department told The Hindu here on Saturday that secondary grade teachers (those having undergraduate degrees) who take classes for standards I to V in Government schools opt for the B.Ed. course, which would qualify them to teach in classes IX and X.
Government schools teachers with a postgraduate degree who complete B.Ed. course could teach for classes XI and XII.
The Director of School Education has been directed to deny permission for schools teachers seeking leave for pursuing higher education.
School Education Department officials in Coimbatore said that they have begun enforcing the order.