The Supreme Court on 25 July 2017 quashed the regularisation of 1.78 lakh Shiksha Mitras as teachers in Uttar Pradesh (UP) for not holding adequate qualifications as fixed under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
A bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit ruled that their jobs could not be regularised at the cost of fundamental right of children to free quality education by duly qualified teachers. It ruled that Right to Education means right to quality education.
The court held that appointment of Shiksha Mitras was not as per qualification prescribed for a teacher and they could not be regularized as teachers.
However, it ruled that they should be given opportunity to be considered for recruitment as teachers if they have now acquired the requisite qualification. It also allowed the UP government to continue them as Shiksha Mitras on same terms on which they were working.
These teachers were appointed for imparting free and compulsory education to all children aged between 6 to 14 years.
Shiksha mitras, who were supposed to have minimum qualification of intermediate, were appointed in 1999 by the UP government. They were appointed to help out the villagers in getting their children enrolled in schools and raise awareness about the need for education.
In 2010, the National Council Teachers' Education (NCTE) ruled that only those who qualify Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) will be appointed as teacher from the primary level upwards.
However, in 2012, the Samajwadi Party government initiated the process of regularizing the shiksha mitras.
Later in May 2014, the government amended the teaching rules stating that the shiksha mitras would not require to qualify the TET. Following which, it passed the order to assimilate them as assistant teachers.
What: Ruled by Supreme Court
When: 25 July 2017
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