1,653 teachers promoted as heads of institutions

The General Education Department has temporarily promoted 1,653 primary teachers as heads of institutions.

The promotion that has been caught in a legal tangle will be subject to the Supreme Court’s final judgment. The decision has been taken following the Advocate General’s legal opinion. With schools reopening after more than a year-and-a-half in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department was keen on avoiding any hurdles in connection with their functioning, and decided to go ahead with the promotion.

Once the promotions are effected, more than 1,000 vacancies will arise. Appointment can be made to these through the Kerala Public Service Commission, a statement from the office of the General Education Minister said. As many as 540 vacancies had been reported, and the remaining are expected to be reported in the coming days.

Relaxations were being allowed in the stipulation that teachers who had completed 50 years of age should pass departmental tests for promotion as lower and upper primary and high school headmaster or headmistress.

When the State rules for the Right to Education Act, 2009, were being framed, it was stipulated that departmental tests have to be cleared for appointment as headmaster/mistress. As the RTE Act was applicable only for primary education, this stipulation was applicable only to LP and UP headmaster postings. However, those who had completed 50 years of age were being promoted as before. This was challenged in the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT), and the government passed a few orders in this regard. As per the last order, teachers who had completed 50 years would be exempted from departmental tests for three years beginning February 22, 2019.

This order, though, was stayed by the High Court of Kerala. It directed that those who had not cleared departmental tests not be considered for primary headmaster/mistress promotion. Teachers who had completed 50 years and had been promoted challenged this in the Supreme Court. The apex court ordered that status quo be maintained. The court’s final order is awaited.

Before school reopening on November 1, Deputy Directors of Education were directed to give temporary appointment as heads of institutions on the basis of seniority subject to conditions. Accordingly, orders were issued for primary headmaster/mistress promotion, and the teachers entered service. However, this was stayed by KAT for three weeks. On an appeal filed by the government, the High Court lifted the stay, the statement said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 8:36:07 AM |

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