WB Primary Education Board Challenges High Court Decision to Cancel Thousands of Teachers’ Jobs


GG News Bureau

Kolkata, 17th May. The West Bengal Board of Primary Education filed an appeal in the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday against an order cancelling the jobs of over 32,000 untrained primary school teachers, claiming that they had received a Diploma in Elementary Education (DElEd) within the prescribed time period.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Tuesday modified his May 12 order, in which jobs of 36,000 primary teachers were cancelled, reducing the number to around 32,000 after the petitioners’ lawyer Tarunjyoti Tiwary pointed out that the number of untrained teachers would be to that tune.

The board moved the appeal against the order of Justice Gangopadhyay before a division bench presided by Justice Subrata Talukdar, claiming that the primary school teachers, whose jobs were ordered to be cancelled, have obtained training in DElEd within the extended time frame allowed by the Union government to West Bengal and some other states.

Appearing for the board, senior counsel Kishore Dutta submitted that two similar petitions had earlier been dismissed by two other benches of the high court and as such this bunch of petitions should not have been entertained by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay.

Justice Gangopadhyay had said in his order that the chairman of the board in his report before the court said that aptitude tests of candidates were taken “but from the evidence adduced by the interviewers and the candidates, it has been proved before this court that no aptitude test was taken.” The division bench, also comprising Justice Supratim Bhattacharya, asked the board how it would like to answer some points raised in the order, like that of aptitude test and granting of marks to candidates.

In a conversation with the lawyers appearing for the board, the division bench said that the single bench has not thrown the candidates to the wolves, but has given them a chance to appear for recruitment afresh.

Senior advocate Kalyan Bandopadhyay, appearing for some of the candidates, submitted that they were trained subsequently within two years of appointment as primary teachers as per the norms of the Union government.

Appearing for the petitioners on whose petition the single bench had passed the order, counsel Kumarjyoti Tiwari submitted that documents downloaded from the board’s website show that more qualified candidates had not got the jobs, while less qualified ones were recruited.

He alleged that the entire recruitment process for primary teachers in West Bengal government-sponsored and -aided schools was a farce.

The court adjourned the hearing on the matter till Wednesday.

The writ application before the single bench was filed by 140 petitioners who were qualified in Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) 2014 and participated in the 2016 recruitment process but did not get an appointment.

A total of around 42,500 candidates were selected in the recruitment process.

The recruitment process was held by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education which was to be held in accordance with West Bengal Board of Primary School Teachers Recruitment Rules 2016. PTI

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