Tripura assures will protect teachers’ future after SC verdict

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Tripura assures will protect teachers’ future after SC verdict

Agartala, April 5 (IANS) Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Wednesday assured of all-out efforts to protect the interests of more than 10,000 teachers affected by the Supreme Court verdict regarding termination of their jobs.

He also assured that his government will approach the Centre on the issue.

“We follow Supreme Court orders… (but) we cannot wash away the future of 10,323 teachers. We will take all steps to protect their interests,” Sarkar told reporters here.

He was speaking after chairing a meeting of the Council of Ministers that reviewed the March 29 apex court order.

Dubbing the Supreme Court order — which upheld the Tripura High Court order in the case — as “unexpected”, the Chief Minister said : “The Cabinet decided that the state is committed to ensuring there is no disruption in educational endeavours and educational institutions function smoothly….”

Accompanied by Education and Law Minister Tapan Chakraborty and Information Minister Bhanulal Saha, Sarkar said his government will approach the Human Resource Development Ministry for relaxation in age and other criteria under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, for the affected teachers.

“The Council of Ministers reviewed the Supreme Court judgement and decided to comply with the court directions,” Sarkar said.

The Chief Minister said that making selections through the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) is a big challenge for all states since the set eligibility criteria are tough for aspirants.

The Supreme Court on March 29 upheld the Tripura High Court order to terminate the jobs of 10,323 teachers, but allowed them to continue till December 31.

The court asked the state government to frame a new Employment Policy by April 30.

Quoting the apex court’s order, the Chief Minister said his government had been directed to initiate fresh recruitment by May 31 and complete it by December 31.

“The Supreme Court allowed all serving teachers, candidates not selected and others to participate by relaxing age limit but subject to possession of other required qualifications,” Sarkar added.

The Supreme Court order came on three special leave petitions filed by the Tripura government, terminated serving teachers and aggrieved job seekers.

“We gave some jobs based on need and economic conditions of families, but the court turned down these criteria,” Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said.

The Tripura High Court ordered the state on May 7, 2014, to frame a new Employment Policy within two months.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.