Over 600 sacked for lack of qualifications; faculty say they earned degrees while teaching

Following an order from the State government, several schools have fired their computer teachers who did not possess a B. Ed or a degree in computer science.

As per the new instructions given to schools, only teachers with a B. Sc or BCA or any equivalent degree in computers and a B. Ed can train students.

Many of the fired teachers have not taken well to this decision and say that the move also affected those who did not have these qualifications when they joined but acquired them later.

“We have spent nearly 15 years teaching and many of us have also earned a B. Ed during this period. Yet, action has been taken against us,” said Victor Premkumar, a computer tutor. The teachers, who have gathered under the banner of ‘Terminated computer assistants of Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary Schools,’ staged a protest in the city recently and plan to hold one more soon. Many of these teachers hold diplomas in computer training.

Mr. Premkumar said many of nearly 600 teachers, who have been fired, also finished their B. Ed in the last few years, but that was not considered.

Officials at the department of education said the decision was taken in accordance with court instructions to employ better teachers as computer tutors in schools, especially for higher secondary students.

The teachers were employed on contract in 1997 and many were regularised in 2008, an official said. The teachers were also put to test, after which those who could not get a pass mark of 35 per cent were asked to leave.

Mr Victor, however, said many of them who cleared the test had also been fired.

Many schools have however welcomed the decision. “Till now, it was not mandatory for computer teachers to have certain qualifications. They were recruited under the vocational category. But it is time we changed that,” said R. Shanmugham, headmaster of a government school.

“We find teachers with just a diploma in a computer courses teaching students of class XI and class XII. Children know more than these teachers. At a time when computers are so important, it is necessary to have good teachers,” he added.

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