West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Wednesday (November 11) that her government will recruit 16,500 teachers in state-aided schools in the next two months.

In all, 20,000 candidates have cleared the Teacher Eligibility Test for appointment as teachers of Classes V to VIII (upper primary) in schools.

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Mamata Banerjee said, “There are 16,500 vacant posts; so, within December and January recruitment will be done. The rest among the 20,000 will be recruited in phases.”

The chief minister instructed the state education department to begin the process of conducting offline interviews once the COVID situation eases, adding that 2. 50 lakh candidates have applied for fresh teacher's eligibility test (TET) examination in the state.

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The announcement of 16,500 jobs assumes significance as it comes ahead of the Assembly polls. Unemployment and migration of youth are important issues in the State.

The announcement also assumes significance as it comes at a time when thousands of eligible candidates are on the war path against the state government's policy of complete freeze on teachers' recruitment. Over the past one-year multiple protests have been held across the state with protesters even sitting on hunger strike.