Members of TET Pass BEd Unemployed Teachers’ Union staged a state-level agitation in Bathinda on Sunday, but it turned out to be a damp squib as the police foiled their plan of holding a protest march on the roads of Bathinda by locking the protesters inside the building of Teachers’ Home for three hours.
The union comprises unemployed BEd teachers who have cleared the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET).
Members of the union from all districts of Punjab took part in the protest.
State president of the union, Amninder Singh, said they staged a state-level rally at Bathinda to pressurise the government for meeting their demands and to protest against the anti-teacher education policies.
He said the union had planned to hold a protest march from the Teachers’ Home to the deputy commissioner’s (DC’s) office by blocking the roads, but the police locked the gates of the building and stopped them from organising the march.
Amninder said from the year 2000, as many as 23,000 candidates had cleared TET till December 2015, out of which only 3,672 candidates had got appointed at government schools and about 20,000 TET-cleared candidates were still unemployed and many of them were going to pass the eligibility age for selection soon.
“Education minister Daljeet Singh Cheema has said time and again that about 30,000 posts of teachers are vacant in government schools, but the department is in the process of filling only 6,000 posts of master cadre,” he said.
Amninder said the government had made it mandatory for candidates to pass an additional subject test for eligibility to be selected as a teacher in government schools.
“A minimum of 75 marks in general category and 67 marks in SC category are required in the subject test. Such a condition in the upcoming subject test is useless and should be removed. The minister says 30,000 posts are vacant while we are only 20,000 in number,” he said.
He said a meeting with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was scheduled in January. Amninder added that if the government failed to meet the demands of unemployed teachers, then they will intensify their protest against the government.