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Deepa Sharma Sood, Hindustan Times
Ludhiana, December 12, 2013
To bring national standards and benchmark of teacher quality in the recruitment process, the Punjab government has decided to conduct the Punjab teacher eligibility test (TET) on December 28. But the government has failed to recruit the teachers who have cleared the test in 2011 and 2013.

About 18,300 candidates have cleared the test which was conducted in July 2011 and June 2013 but the government has not hired them. It did not conduct the test in 2012.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Deep Raja, TET Pass Unemployed Teachers Union president, Ludhiana, said, "We are struggling since 2011 as we had cleared the test in 2011 but the Punjab government has failed to recruit us. In October this year, counselling was conducted but the authorities have still not updated the list of candidates who are through with the counselling. There are 40,000 posts of master cadre lying vacant in the government schools of the state but the government is not interested in filling these posts."

Another TET teacher, on condition of anonymity, said, "I have cleared the test this year but till now the government has not advertised and I am working in a private school and earning Rs. 3,000 per month.

If the posts are lying vacant, why isn't the government filling them? Quality education will be possible in government schools only when their teacher-pupil ratio is according to the Right to Education Act, which is 1:30."

When contacted, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka said, "We are recruiting teachers. The counselling of candidates has already been done and we will soon bring out the lists. If the candidates have cleared the test, we will hire them but for every process we need time and are trying our best to fill all vacant posts."
RTE Act says
In accordance with the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) had laid down the minimum qualifications for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher for Classes 1 to 8.

One of the essential qualifications for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher is that he/she should pass the TET, which would be conducted by the appropriate government in accordance with the guidelines framed by the NCTE.