DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has asked the agitating Punjab TET qualified teachers to immediately withdraw their protest to enable an amicable dialogue to resolve their issues, even as he agreed to examine their demands sympathetically within two weeks.
The Chief Minister made it clear that that his government was willing to consider their demands within the ambit of the law, but would not bow to any arm-twisting on the issue. He conveyed this to a delegation of the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) passed teachers that met him at his official residence on Saturday evening.
The Chief Minister directed the Secretary Education to discuss and thrash out all the issues raised by the delegation within a fortnight but told the teachers that there could be no talks unless they withdrew their agitation immediately. An official spokesperson said Captain Amarinder has called another meeting with the teachers on August 1 to take the discussions forward, subject to the immediate withdrawal of their protest.
Referring to a key demand of the protesting teachers, the Chief Minister said the Education Department would seek legal opinion from Legal Rememberancer and the Advocate General before going in for any change in the number of posts that had been earmarked in their recruitment advertisement of 2015.
He also agreed to consider sympathetically their demand for relaxation in norms from seven to eight years for appointment of the TET passed teachers. As per the existing rules, they can only be appointed within seven years of clearing the TET examination conducted by SCERT (State Council for Education, Research and Training). Since these teachers had passed the exam in 2011 their eligibility for appointment would lapse in 2018. The Chief Minister has asked the Secretary Education to take up this issue with the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).