Nearly 1.78 lakh ‘Shiksha Mitras’ were given regular jobs as teachers in junior schools in Uttar Pradesh, but now their appointment has been cancelled by the Supreme Court. The top court said that the appointment of the Shiksha Mitras was being cancelled since these people did not have the desired qualification, as promulgated by the central government under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. The decision was taken by a bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit. The bench said that the jobs cannot be regularized at the expense of risking the education of children who have a fundamental right to free quality education provided by qualified teachers.
The court however said that any Shiksha Mitra who has now acquired the desired qualification can make a fresh application for recruitment as a regular teacher. The court also allowed the Shiksha Mitras to continue in their earlier role, provided the state government is okay with it. The court said that this was one of the toughest decisions to make since on the one hand, the careers of 1.78 lakh teachers were involved and on the other hand, education of thousands of children was involved. The court said that some relaxation can be done based on the experience of Shiksha Mitras, but the requirement for mandatory qualifications cannot be bypassed.