A Kerala High Court Bench of Justice PV Kunhikrishnan has emphasized the importance of music towards the happiness and mental health of a child while allowing the petition of a music teacher. The Court has also recommended that the Government takes a policy decision regarding the appointment of regular Music teachers’ post in all schools.

Counsel N James Koshy appeared for the Petition, while Government Pleader KM Faisal appeared for the Respondents.

In this case, the Petitioner was a part-time Music Teacher in a school and when a retirement vacancy for a full-time music teacher arose, the Petitioner requested the Respondent to appoint her by promotion as per the provisions of Rule 43, Chapter XIV(A) of the Kerala Education Rules 1959.

However, the Petitioner's application was rejected, and someone else was appointed.

The Court held that music is crucial to the happiness and mental health of a child, and that the government should sanction regular music teachers' posts in all schools. In that context, it was said that "the Government should seriously think about the sanctioning of regular Music teachers’ post in all schools, at least in primary section, irrespective of the student’s strength or number of periods. Currently, the Music teacher’s post is sanctioned based on number of students in a school, number of periods etc. If the strength of students in one school is less, then the post of Music teacher will not be sanctioned in that school. This in reality is a discrimination to the student community".

The Court further noted that "The only contention raised in the counter affidavit is that the petitioner has only worked for 3 days per week. But a perusal of Ext.P15 certificate issued by the Headmaster, Light to the Blind School, Varkala will show that the petitioner was working in the school as Part Time Instrumental Music Teacher from 02.01.1992 with 9 periods in a week. There is no dispute on these aspects.", and in that context, the Court took the considered view that the Petitioner was entitled to the benefits of Exts.P9 and P10 orders.

Therefore, the Writ Petition was allowed. The Respondent was directed to pass an order promoting the Petitioner to a full-time Music Teacher, and disburse all service benefits such as grade promotion, salary increase, arrears of salary, etc.

The Registry was directed to forward a copy of the Judgment to the Government, regarding the policy decision to be taken towards sanctioning the post of music teacher in all schools.

Cause Title: R Helan Thilakom v. The State of Kerala & Ors.

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