Recruiting teachers for denominational schools –Maha Sabha: Teaching Service Commission must follow Concordat

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly. FILE PHOTO -
Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly. FILE PHOTO -

ATTORNEYS for the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) have sent pre-action protocol letters to Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and chairman of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) Elizabeth Crouch claiming an unlawful and unconstitutional change to the method of recruiting teachers.

In the letter signed by Kiel Taklalsingh, which was e-mailed on Thursday, the Maha Sabha claims the change in the recruitment process excludes input from the Denominational Boards, in contravention of the long-standing Concordat.

The letter promised legal action if this alteration to the recruitment practice is not reversed.

The Maha Sabha is claiming the new method of recruiting teachers for denominational primary schools, introduced by the TSC, is contrary to the terms of the Concordat.

The Concordat is a signed agreement between the Government and the heads of the various denominational boards on terms in which the denominational boards of education would run Government-assisted denominational schools.

The Maha Sabha says that by way of a letter dated November 25, the TSC indicated it would depart from and/or prohibit the settled practice of denominational boards firstly interviewing applicants for teaching positions, assessing them, and thereafter submitting a list of desirable candidates to the TSC for approval.

Instead, the TSC introduced a new system which completely excludes denominational schools from the recruitment process by way of the TSC advertising for teaching positions, assessing applicants on its own, and imposing on denominational schools, its choice of teachers to be sent to denominational schools subject to the right to object held by denominational schools.

The Maha Sabha says this is both unlawful and/or unconstitutional as it contravenes the terms and tenets of the 1960 Concordat.

The Maha Sabha's attorneys who also include Karuna Maraj, Rhea Khan, Stefan Ramkissoon and Dinesh Rambally are calling on both Minister Gadsby-Dolly and TSC chairman Crouch to comply with the clear terms of the Concordat and immediately revert to the settled practice of the boards entertaining applications from candidates, the boards conducting interviews and consequently transmitting to the TSC, a list of names of prospective teachers the boards are prepared to accept in their schools.

If a written undertaken to comply is not sent within 14 days, the lawyers warned, legal action will be instituted in the High Courts.


"Recruiting teachers for denominational schools –Maha Sabha: Teaching Service Commission must follow Concordat"

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