Meghalaya: 'Unhappy' contractual teachers mull over future action to win back jobs



Unhappy with the judgment by the Single Bench of the Meghalaya High Court over their reinstatement petition, the contractual teachers are mulling over plans to win back their jobs.

Contractual teachers across the state were thrown out of their jobs after the state government decided not to renew their teaching contracts.

The sudden ruling has left many teachers, who have been working in their posts for the past 8-9 years, jobless.

The criteria for these teachers to retain their jobs was that they pass the Meghalaya Teacher Eligibility Test (MTET) examination that was conducted last year across the state. Unfortunately, most of them did not get through.

Notably, the MTET exams had papers leaked, which led to an FIR being filed in Tura. While the investigation into the matter was completed, the government allegedly failed to furnish the report to the Court.

The teachers contend that the entire exercise needed to be redone, and they be given another chance.

“In this day and age of social media, how long will it take for the papers to reach everyone? The exams were compromised, but the government chose to still take out the results and choose teachers on a leaked examination. How is that fair to anyone?” asked Torin K Marak, president of the contractual teachers’ association of North Garo Hills.

The state government only withheld the results for the Dadenggre subdivision, though most of the candidates from Dadenggre gave their exams in Tura, said the teachers.

“The difficulty we faced was that we were competing against a younger group of aspirants, most of whom already had advanced knowledge. We had our jobs as teachers to look at daily and it made studies extremely difficult,” said East Garo Hills (EGH) secretary for the contractual teachers’ association, Asilbirth Marak.

Marak said their sacrifice in the teaching profession was proving to be costly to their future as they now had nothing in terms of government jobs to look forward to as most of them were already overage.

“We met all the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) norms for our jobs and even spent two years in District Institute for Education and Training (DIET). When we were chosen we were qualified. How can we now be unqualified for the post despite giving years of service for the benefit of students?” they asked.

Incidentally, in 2017, those teachers who had not secured 45% had to go through an enhancement test.

“We were even made to finish the Diploma in Elementary Education (DElEd) course and enhancement to improve our marks. So why were these done when we were going to be thrown out this way?” they questioned.

The teachers have stated that they were consulting with their lawyers on the way forward. This comes after the Court quashed their petition for reinstatement.

“We will continue to fight as this is (a) gross injustice to all of us and we have families to look after. What are we supposed to do now after our teaching jobs?” asked the teachers.