HC amends ruling on differently-abled teachers quota in aided schools

Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives

Kochi: In a major relief to thousands of teachers employed in aided schools, the division bench of the Kerala High Court, amended a single bench order over appointments made under differently-abled teachers quota in schools.

The division bench directed the Education Officer to provide temporary legal recognition to those teachers' appointments between November 18, 2018 and November 8, 2021, in the vacancies reserved for persons with disabilities.

Earlier, the single bench of the high court mandated that all appointments post November 18, 2018, should be approved only after filling seats reserved for the differently abled.

On Monday, the court considered more than 80 petitions filed by management and teachers requesting to review the single bench ruling. According to the petitioners, there is a shortage of differently-abled teachers, who are not qualified enough to fill more than a thousand vacancies, reported each academic year. To avoid this, the high court has decided to amend the single bench order and ensure appointments to more than 3500 vacancies reported every academic year in aided schools across the state.

However, the court also mandated that temporary teachers only continue until a qualified differently-abled candidate vies for the post.

Meanwhile, the temporary teachers will receive salary and other benefits enjoyed by other permanent staff. Further, temporary appointments can be made permanent if no qualified differently-abled persons apply for the position.

School managers may also appoint teachers on a daily wage basis for vacancies reported after November 8, 2021, till qualified differently-abled persons challenge for the position.

The single bench order was a continuation of the Supreme Court order and the Disability Reservation Act enacted in 1995 and 2016.

The Division Bench took into account that no appointment could be made in the aided schools for the academic year 2022-'23 following the Single Bench order.

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