Till recently, the streets of Karunamayi in Kolkata were filled with Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) candidates who were protesting outside the head office of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. In a turn of events, on October 20, Kolkata police dispersed the protestors. On the direction of the Calcutta High Court, Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in areas near the office till November 04.  

Reasons for protest 

Achintya Dhara, a leader of protesting candidates, said, “In 2014, TET was conducted. In November 2020, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that out of the 20,000 qualified candidates, 16,500 candidates would be given jobs, while the remaining 4,500 candidates would go through a step-by-step process of recruitment. However, as of now, we have been totally ignored. Only 12,500 people have been taken.”

On how long the protest would continue, Dhara said, “We have a do or die approach; either we will die or fight for it.” 

Today marks the 67th day of the protest.

Another protester Paramita Paul told businessline that they will not participate in the interviews conducted by the government.

“The government is asking the 2014 and 2017 TET qualified candidates to appear for an interview again. We were told that we would be given appointment orders. While some have have received the orders, it’s still pending for many. Now, instead of giving appointment to others, they are asking us to go through the interview process again.”

Amid slogans of “We want appointment” in the background, Arnob Ghosh, a 2014 TET qualified candidate, said that they have been deprived of eight years of life because of people like Manik Bhattacharya, former chairman of West Bengal Board of Primary Education. 

Bhattacharya was arrested a few days back by the Enforcement Directorate on the charges of alleged irregularities in the 2014 TET recruitment process.

Alleging malpractices in the 2014 TET exam, Dhara said, “Many people gave blank papers and still got jobs.” 

West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu could not be reached for comments.