Special Correspondent

Rejects petitioners' opposition to written examination system

  • "Weightage marks" for those having work experience in recognised schools
  • Government shall follow communal roster system

    CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has laid down three criteria for the Government to follow during the proposed appointment of 659 schoolteachers in Tamil Nadu. (About 46,000 candidates have applied for 659 posts, for which written examination is to be held on September 17).

    One: Candidates registered with employment exchanges and those having work experience in recognised schools shall be entitled to "weightage marks." The marks shall be added to all eligible candidates immediately after the merit list is evolved and at the time of certificate verification, and not after that stage.

    Two: The July 26, 2006 notification of the Teachers Recruitment Board requiring candidates to undergo written examination is valid. Written test is the most foolproof method which can be tangibly ascertained based on the performance of candidates. There is absolutely no reason for candidates to believe that the method is improper.

    Three: The Government shall follow the communal roster system in continuation as maintained from 2000-2001.

    An order to this effect was passed by Justice P. Jyothimani on Thursday, on a batch of petitions seeking to quash the clauses that made written examination mandatory for aspiring school teachers. The petitioners said they had acquired postgraduate degrees over 10 to 20 years ago and that they had both qualification and seniority to be considered for appointment. Assailing the written test system, they said they could not be expected to compete with fresh graduates and that such examination system was not followed in the case of college lecturers.

    Recognised methods

    However, defending the policy introduced in 2001, the Government said the aim was to improve the quality and content of teaching in Government schools. Competitive examinations and interviews were the recognised recruitment methods and the appointments were made based on merits and communal rotations based on the concept of social justice, it added. It said the impugned notification contemplated weightage marks for candidates registered in employment exchanges and those having previous job experience.

    Justice Jyothimani, however, said the additional marks would not serve the desired purpose if added after the short-listing of candidates. He said: "Extending the weightage marks to all candidates immediately after the written examination will definitely give opportunity to quite a number of candidates to be in the list."

    Rejecting the petitioners' opposition to written examination system, he said if selected they would have to teach the syllabus of the day.

    Now they could not say they were not well versed with the subjects prescribed for the examination, he said, adding, "on the other hand, it is for them to make themselves equal to compete with the present day system and subjects."