No impact of SC order on teachers’ recruitment drive: BPSC chief

BPSC is scheduled to conduct the written examination to recruit around 1.70 lakh teachers for different classes as per earlier notification from August 24 to 26 across the state

2nd phase teachers' recruitment

Patna: Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) chairman Atul Prasad on Sunday allayed the fear of uncertainty over the ongoing teachers’ recruitment drive in the wake of recent Supreme Court judgement.

“There is no reason to withhold or defer the teachers’ recruitment process for primary schools. We have not received any instruction from the state government and the recruitment process would go as scheduled,” clarified the BPSC chairman.

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There was confusion among the BEd qualified teachers’ aspirants, who had applied against vacancies in class 1-5 after the Supreme Court judgement, which in a matter relating to Rajasthan, ruled that only DElEd or Basic School Teaching Certificate (BSTC) certified students were qualified for teaching in the primary sections (from Class 1-5). The order also said that BEd qualified students were not qualified to become teachers in primary schools.

Prasad clarified said that the candidates should not be under any confusion due to the recent SC order, making BEd degree holders ineligible for the post of primary teachers. “There is no point withholding the exam, as it will be injustice with the candidates,” he asserted.

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BPSC is scheduled to conduct the written examination to recruit around 1.70 lakh teachers for different classes as per earlier notification from August 24 to 26 across the state.

“The state government has to take a policy decision on the matter and we have got no communication so far, which means the exam is on. Education is in the concurrent list and the state can make its own rules, as can the Center. What rules the state government will make and at what stage is not known to us. In anticipation, there is no point withholding the exam, as it will be injustice with the candidates who have applied on the basis of DElEd,” the chairman said.

A senior officer of the education department contended that the SC order was in contravention to the 2018 National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) notification, which made BEd degree holders eligible for the post. Rajasthan’s board of secondary education had also denied eligibility to BEd degree holders in the state teacher eligibility test, which was challenged in the HC and the Rajasthan government supported it.

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A teachers’ union body leader, citing Article 21-A of the Constitution and the Right to Education Act, said that the Rajasthan HC quashed the NCTE notification, observing that “a good teacher is the first assurance of ‘quality’ education in a school. Any compromise on the qualification of teachers would necessarily mean a compromise on the ‘quality’ of education”.

The teachers’ leader argued that as the order of the SC came just when Bihar was moving ahead to organise exam for recruitment of over 1.75 lakh teachers, including over 85,000 primary teachers, many candidates for the primary schools were in confusion, as many candidates with B.Ed degree and some with both B.Ed and D.El.Ed had applied for the posts.

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A senior official of the BPSC said that the commission would go ahead with the recruitment process until there is any instruction from the government. “Any instruction from the government would be implemented even after the exam, as screening would be done at the time of results or before interview,” he added.

The BPSC chairman said that the commission is currently verifying the documents of the applicants. “Many candidates may have both BEd and DElEd and applied on the basis of the latter. That will be filtered after the exam and when the merit list will be prepared. There is no point denying them the opportunity just because they may have shown just one document at the time of applying,” he added.

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The BPSC would communicate the government’s decision, if it comes at later stages, to the students. “As of now, there shall not be any confusion at this stage. The exam is close and it is on at this stage. There should not be unwarranted panic. If there is any specific decision regarding any particular category of candidates, that can be applied even after exam,” he added.

Notably, the Bihar government had brought out an advertisement on June 30 inviting applications for appointment to more than 1.70 lakh posts in the primary, secondary and senior secondary schools within the state, which the working teachers appointed since 2006 through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and those who applied under advertisement of 2019 for selection to the post of teacher had earlier challenged in the high court, but got no relief.

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Now, the government is working on a different mechanism to accede to the demands of around four lakh working teachers and give them government employee status without the BPSC exam, but through some other mode of screening. However, many of the working teachers have also applied for the BPSC exam, while the government is yet to come out with any concrete mechanism.

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