B.Ed Graduates not Eligible for Primary Education Jobs, Holds SC
Representational image. | Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Upholding the verdict given by Rajasthan High Court, the Supreme Court of India held that B.Ed graduates would be ineligible for the posts of primary school teachers.
The issue traces back to 2018 when the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) issued a notification suggesting that B.Ed graduates would be eligible to apply for primary school teaching (Class 1-5) in addition to the other secondary and senior secondary education that already fell under their parameters.
Despite this notification, when the Rajasthan govt released an advertisement for Rajasthan Teachers Eligibility Test (RTET), it excluded the B.Ed graduates from the list of eligible candidates. However, this led to a revolt from the B.Ed graduates end, and the decision was ultimately challenged in the Rajasthan High Court.
Meanwhile, the D.El. Ed (Diploma in Elementary Education) candidates also protested against the move by NCTE to include the B.Ed graduates in the only exam where they had a chance of cracking a government job.
Avinash, a resident of Karauli, Rajasthan, is a Diploma holder in Elementary Education. Talking to NewsClick about 2018, he said, "I still remember when we used to feel completely ignored by the central government, when there was an attempt to give additional privilege to the B.Ed candidates. We were out on the streets and protested for days outside the Sachivalay.” Avinash added how the Rajasthan High Court's order brought some relief to him, but when the matter was taken further to the apex court, he had his apprehensions.
Rajasthan High Court in 2018 had quashed the NCTE notification making B.Ed graduates ineligible to apply for primary education teaching posts.
The matter went further to the Supreme Court where the B.Ed candidates were represented by Adv PS Patwalia and Adv Meenakshi Arora, while the Diploma holders were represented by Adv Kapil Sibal and Adv Manish Singhvi. The former argued that the decision taken by the NCTE was a policy decision and had been made under the directions of the central government itself, therefore making the High Court wrong in interfering with a policy decision. The latter argued that the NCTE was an expert body and was bound to take decisions objectively and not just based on the Centre’s directions.
NewsClick also reached out to another Diploma Holder from Jaipur. Pushpendra is the eldest among all the siblings in his family. After his father, the responsibility to run the family is entirely on his shoulders. The 26-year-old back in 2021, he had cleared his RTET exam, but the future looked grim to him, considering that the B.Ed graduates would also be competing, decreasing his chances of landing a job.
In its judgement, the Supreme Court traced the history of the right to free and compulsory education for children in India and called it a part of the social vision of the framers of the Constitution. The Court added that free and compulsory education was useless unless it was also meaningful. "Elementary education has to be of good quality, not just a ritual or formality," the apex court emphasised.
Highlighting the object of Article 21A of the Constitution and the RTE Act, the Court observed that certain norms and standards have to be followed in Elementary Schools to provide meaningful and quality education.
The Court also mentioned a notification brought by the NCTE in 2010 stating the qualifications required for teaching at both primary and upper primary levels, but the notification did not mention B.Ed as a needed qualification for appointment to primary school teachers. The Court further added how a Diploma Holder in Elementary Education was trained to handle primary school students as the said course was specifically designed for that purpose. On the other hand, B.Ed is designed to teach students at secondary and senior secondary levels. Hence, letting the B.Ed graduates apply for primary education jobs would mean compromising on the education of primary students.
Pushpendra was happy about the judgement. He said, "You see, they already have other jobs to apply for. If they had applied here, it would have decreased our chances. Thankfully the Supreme Court came to our rescue. I cannot wait to start teaching. Now, I believe my chances of landing a job are mostly confirmed. There are around 60,000 posts for which, including the B.Ed candidates, the total number of competitors was around 14 lakh. Now it would drop to 4-5 lakhs. It is only fair that we, the Diploma holders, compete among ourselves. This is fair."
After the judgement in their favour, the Diploma holders now await recruitment.
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