Three Gujarat teachers, who promotions were reversed by the government after they pursued higher studies to obtain graduate and postgraduate degrees, got reprieve from Gujarat High Court.
A bench of Justice Nikhil Kariel ordered status quo, meaning Magan Dodiya, Savji Parmar and Haresh Rajyaguru would continue to serve as head teachers until further orders. The court has issued notice to the authorities and posted further hearing.
Dodiya, Parmar and Rajyaguru have been serving in Bhavnagar city’s municipal board’s schools since the 1980s and 1990s.
The qualification required then for the post of a primary teacher was only secondary schooling with a certificate course in primary teaching.
After the state government introduced certain qualifying criteria for promotions, the three cleared a test called Head Teachers Aptitude Test (HTAT) – required to become a head teacher – and they were promoted to the post in 2012.
On December 8, 2023, the Bhavnagar town education committee cancelled their promotions and demoted them to their original post of primary teachers. The punishment was for the “misconduct” of pursuing higher education with-out due permission from the department.
All three rushed to HC, where their advocates Shalin Mehta and Shikha Panchal submitted that these teachers had sought permission to pursue higher studies.
While the authority did not respond to Dodiya and Parmar’s requests to pursue graduation, permission was granted to Rajyaguru in 1988 to pursue graduation and then in 2010 again to get a master’s degree. Still, Rajyaguru was punished.
The lawyers also complained that the inquiry reports were never shared with the teachers to enable them to respond to the authority.