The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) is claiming that there has been an unlawful and unconstitutional change to the method of recruiting teachers and as such is threatening to sue the Minister of Education and the Teaching Service Commission.
Lawyers for the SDMS have already sent pre-action protocol letters to Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and chairman of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) Elizabeth Crouch.
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 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 letter promised legal action if this alteration to the recruitment practice is not reversed.
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 SDMS, by way of a letter on November 25 2022, said the TSC communicated its decision to 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 (by way of interview).
It says “the TSC has replaced this method of recruitment, which was based on the Concordat, and instead introduced a new system which completely excludes Denominational schools from the recruitment process of teachers whereby the TSC would advertise for teaching positions, assess the applicants on its own, and subsequently impose upon Denominational Schools the state’s choice of applicants to teach in Denominational Schools subject to the right to object held by Denominational Schools.”
The SDMS is now calling upon the TSC to observe and comply with the clear terms of the CONCORDAT.
“Furthermore, we hereby request that you give a written undertaking within 14 days that you will forthwith revert to the settled practice,” it said.
If a written undertaken to comply is not sent within 14 days, the lawyers warned, legal action will be instituted in the High Courts.