Himachal court holds up phasing out of unqualified primary teachers

Shimla: A division bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court partly stayed a judgment of a single judge which had directed the state to phase out primary teachers appointed under a 2003 scheme.

The double bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Karol on Tuesday ordered that the action of phasing out Primary Assistant Teachers (PAT) be deferred for the time being.

Himachal High Court The court passed these orders on a appeal filed by PAT association that has challenged the judgement of the single judge.

However, the court restrained the government from regularizing the services of any unqualified PAT teacher as a Junior Basic Teacher (JBT).

The court directed the education secretary and director elementary education to draw up a list of available vacancies as well the existing back log in JBT category since the year 2009. The officials have also been asked to state as to how many vacancies stood as filled up.

Earlier, a judge of the High Court while allowing a petition by JBT qualified teachers had directed the government phase out teachers appointed under HP Prathmic Sahayak Adhyapak / Primary Assistant Teachers scheme of 2003 and asked for commencing selection process to fill up the posts of JBT teachers strictly as per recruitment and promotion rules. The government was directed to complete the process within 6 months. In all 3482 teachers recruited under the scheme had been affected by the judgement .

The state had taken a stand that if the services of PAT teachers was discontinued it would lead to social disorder and rejection of merit. The state also argued that this category of teachers had been serving for 8 to 9 years and if their services were done away with it would amount to exploitation. However the court had held the appointments to be in contravention of rules.

The main petition by JBT teachers was that there were 2261 who had had undertaken JBT training at government or private institutes during the 2008 session but PAT teachers stood appointed against JBT posts.

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