A joint press meet being convened by student leaders of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts in Assam Credit: EastMojo image 

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Guwahati: Student bodies of Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao in Assam have demanded the state government to conduct a special Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) for the candidates of the three hill districts.

The student organisations of all the three hill districts reiterated that TET should be conducted separately by the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) for both Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts and by North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) for Dima Hasao district, respectively.

Holding a joint press conference at the district press club in Karbi Anglong, student leaders of Karbi Students Association (KSA), Dimasa Students Union (DSU), Garo Students Union (GSU) and Garo Cultural Society (GCS) jointly raised their voice over the issue.

Highlighting the recent notification issued by the state government inviting online submission of forms to conduct TET across Assam, DSU’s central committee general secretary Pramith Sengyung informed that the student bodies of the hill districts have been demanding for a separate TET for the indigenous communities of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao since 2012 and they remain firm to their stand.

Sengyung further said that the structure, criteria and content for conducting TET in the state has to be changed.

Pointing out to the minimum qualification required for TET examinations, Sengyung said that as per the guidelines provided for the examinations, a candidate is required to have a minimum qualification with Bachelor’s degree in Education and D El Ed (Diploma in Elementary Education) for applying to primary and upper primary TET teachers but there is no B Ed college available in the districts and the D El Ed centre will start functioning only five years later.

“How can the government expect the required qualifications from students of the districts,” Sengyung questioned.

He also said that as per sub-section 2 of Section 23 of RTE Act, a state which does not have adequate institutions to offer training or courses for teachers’ education or the teachers possessing minimum qualification as laid down under sub-section (1) of section 23 are not available in sufficient numbers, the Central government through a notification can relax the minimum qualifications required for appointment of teachers for a certain period of time, however it cannot exceed five years, as specified in the notification.

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The general secretary added that if Assam government desires, it can give relaxation on the minimum qualification required for appointment of teachers in state through this provision for a specified period and the candidates can obtain the necessary qualification after being appointed.

Sengyung also said that in the first paper for Class I to V in primary TET, the languages included are Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Garo, Nepali, Karbi and Hmar but Dimasa has not been included and so in lieu of Dimasa, English should be made compulsory.

KSA president Simeon Rongphar said the whole process of National Council for Teachers Education for Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao should be different from that of state government and totally included within KAAC and DHAC, respectively.

“Primary education or elementary education is an inherent subject of KAAC and DHAC. After signing of the MoU, higher education has become an entrusted subject for KAAC which means that the respective councils of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong can legislate law and acts on primary and higher education and through this both the councils have the power for conducting TET by their own,” Rongphar added.

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