Kerala

Eligibility test: KAT order ends exemption regime

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For promotion as head teachers in primary schools

An order of the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) has put an end to the ‘indefinite’ exemption of teachers from the eligibility tests prescribed in the Kerala Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 for promotion as head teachers in primary schools.

The order on February 25, allowing the original application challenging the State government’s 2014 order exempting teachers over 50 years of age from passing the prescribed test qualification under the KRCFCE Rules, clearly states that the circular/ executive order cannot go against the statutory rules.

Since the Right to Education Act was introduced in the State in 2011, the government has been dragging its feet over implementing the minimum qualification rule for head teachers in primary schools.

The KRCFCE Rules stipulates that a teacher should have minimum 12-year teaching experience and pass departmental tests and the test in the Kerala Education Act and Rules (KEAR).

Three years

The Act also provides the head teacher aspirants up to three years to pass the mandatory account (lower) test and the KEAR test.

The Central RTE Act in Section 23 (2) allows relaxation of minimum qualification requirement for a period not exceeding five years if teachers with the required qualifications are not available in sufficient numbers for posting.

The limit given to the aspirants, however, continues to be extended.

“The KAT’s order is a victory for teachers who have been repeatedly demanding the authorities that mandatory test qualification is enforced for promotion of teachers as head teachers in primary schools,” said K.N. Anand, a schoolteacher here and president of the Kerala Test Qualified Primary Teachers’ Union.

Legal battles

Unless the State government intervenes to end the incompatibility between the eligibility requirements in the RTE Act and the sub-rule (4) under 45B in the Kerala Education Act and Rules, this would continue to be dragged in legal battles, he added.

While KEAR sub-rule (4) under 45B permanently exempts a teacher, having attained the age of 50 years from passing the account test (lower), the Rule 18(1) of the KRCFCE Rules, 2011 also prescribes additional pass in the tests stipulated in the KEAR.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:03:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/eligibility-test-kat-order-ends-exemption-regime/article26525164.ece

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