Shiksha Mitras: From Para-teachers to giving the TET

Posted by Chandrakala Radhakrishnan
November 7, 2017

Self-Published

Shiksha-Mitras or para-teachers had been appointed to address the lack of well-qualified teachers in the education field. Said to be paid 1/10 of what their qualified counterpart is given, the point where their equalization was being deliberated upon has seemed the beginning of a big issue. The order passed by the Supreme Court in the month of July had quashed the appointment of Shiksha Mitras as teachers. The state of Uttar Pradesh has about 1.72 Lakh Shiksha-Mitras who according to the Honorable Supreme Court lack required teaching qualifications and in the event of the same, equating them with a regular qualified teacher was not possible.

Huge crowds of the Shiksha-Mitras took to roads protesting and expressing their inconvenience on the verdict of the Supreme Court while Schools have been badly affected owing to this step that was undertaken. During that phase, education in Government Schools which was being delivered solely due to Shiksha-Mitras, this had become quite a serious issue. Their rage was further due to the fact Shiksha-Mitras among them who had further gone ahead to better posts with a lavish pay are continuing to do so, while their value is being diminished on account of the verdict given.

Given their years of experience serving as a teacher and the meagre amount they are being paid as their salary, promotion as a teacher would increase their salary by 7 times and would elevate their quality of life. The Shiksha Mitras was anointed on completion of a Certificate course in training. The two-year course also stands to be recognized by the National Council for Teacher Education. About 1.37 Lakh of the Shiksha Mitras were promoted as permanent employees in the year 2014 upgrading their pay scale to INR 39,000. This order was later quashed by the Supreme Court which sparked a massive protest from the Shiksha Mitras.

It is also being said that if Shiksha Mitras are not being given an improvement in their status and position, snatching any form of right from them is not a justified move. The Shiksha Mitras would be eligible to apply for the vacancies until which Shiksha Mitras would be paid an honorarium of INR 10,000 per month, beginning August 1.

TET or UPTET, is a Teacher Eligibility Test that would be conducted for determining teachers eligible for serving education to students belonging to Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8. About 10 Lakh students had given the exam which was conducted in the month of October and the UPTET Result would be declared in the month of February. The UPTET Answer Key had been declared by the end of October.

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