Madras High Court allowed a petition by a teacher who had no marks awarded for experience in college of education

In a major decision that will help candidates for teaching posts in colleges, the Madras High Court has held that denying marks for experience to those who had taught in colleges of education would amount to discrimination.

“When teaching experience gained by teaching students doing undergraduate courses in colleges can be taken into account for awarding marks, I do not find any rationale as to why such marks should not be awarded to those candidates who have gained experience by teaching in colleges of education,” Justice S. Nagamuthu said while allowing a petition.

In 2012, the Teachers Recruitment Board issued a notification for filling 80 posts of assistant professor in Tamil in government arts and science colleges. One P. Selvam was sponsored by the employment exchange and called for certificate verification. The petitioner submitted she had seven years and eight months experience for which she was eligible for the full marks of 15.

However, she was not awarded any mark for her experience and hence not selected. She petitioned the court to direct the authorities to award 15 marks to her and include her name in the provisional ranking list that would enable her to participate in the interview for the post.

Counsel submitted that a college of education was also a college as referred to in a G.O. of December 7, 2009, and the petitioner should have been awarded full marks for teaching experience.

The government stated that teaching experience as given in the G.O. should have been gained only in universities/government/aided colleges/self-financing colleges, including medical, engineering and law colleges. This would mean only the colleges other than colleges of education.

Justice Nagamuthu said a plain reading of the G.O. would show that it did not exclude the teaching experience gained in colleges of education. It would certainly include these institutions where education was being imparted for awarding degrees such as B.Ed. or M.Ed. A comparison of the teaching experience in arts colleges with that gained in colleges of education would show that the latter was superior, he said, because the minimum qualification for admission to colleges of education is a degree.