Teacher Eligibility Test

Teacher Eligibility Test

1-7% of candidates pass Teacher Eligibility Test

PUBLISH DATE 25th January 2020

Papers test unknown subjects and are often riddled with errors, teachers say; many live in fear as those who don’t pass it in three attempts stand to lose their jobs, govt recognition

Pune: A paltry 1% to 7% of school teachers and aspirants to the profession cleared the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) conducted by the Maharashtra government between 2013 and 2018, official data from the Maharashtra State Council of Examination in Pune revealed. The government started conducting the TET annually from 2013. Six tests have been held so far – the exam was not conducted in 2016, and results of the 2019 exam, held on January 19, are not out yet.

The TET comprises two question papers; Paper 1 is for those teaching students from Std I to V, and Paper 2 for those teaching students from Std VI to VIII. Of the 2.60 lakh candidates who appeared for Paper 1 in 2014, only 2,563 – or less than 1% - managed to scrape through. The highest pass percentage for Paper 1 was 4.24%, recorded in 2013. Similarly, the pass percentage for Paper 2 has ranged from 2.29% in 2017 to 7.27% in 2018.

Subhash More from Shikshak Bharti, a teacher’s union, said that the results of the National Eligibility Test (NET) and State Eligibility Test (SET) for teaching at college and university level are relatively better, at around 10 to 12 per cent, and that the TET results are particularly poor for a number of reasons. He said, “There is no set format for the paper and no reference books. Those who appear for it are already qualified professionals with BEd and DEd degrees. Yet they have to appear for them.”

‘Highly unfair’

Prashant Redij, secretary, Mumbai School Principals’ Association, said “Most teachers who take this test have studied in state-board schools. They have done their BEd and DEd, which are based on state-board syllabus, but the TET papers are set on national-level (NCERT) syllabus. This is highly unfair to begin with. Why can’t they simply be tested on what they studied and what they teach?”

However, some educationists such as Kushal Mude, convenor of the All India NET, SET Teachers’ Organisation, said that teachers and unions who oppose TET have only their personal interests at heart. “There was opposition even when NET and SET were introduced,” he said.

Nonetheless, the paltry pass percentages have shaken the teaching community and brought home the fear of job losses. School teachers who were recruited after February 2013, and aspiring teaching, must clear the exam in three attempts or else run the risk of losing their jobs, losing government recognition for their post, or not getting the recognition in the first place.

The education department has started issuing circulars to schools (Mirror has a copy of one sent to Nashik zilla parishad schools), asking them to terminate the services of non-TET teachers or bear the cost of their salaries.

Anna Correa, principal of St Stanislaus High School in Bandra, said, “Even good teachers are struggling. We haven’t got an official circular yet, but if we retain non-TET teachers we will have to pay their salaries.”

‘Papers are confusing and riddled with errors’

Teachers who have appeared for the test said the papers are framed in such a confusing manner, and so full of errors, that they waste precious time just trying to figure out the questions. “One question asked to identify the underlined parts of speech, but nothing was underlined. I have found nine mistakes and 140 spelling errors in the paper I appeared for last Sunday,” said a teacher from Mumbai who has government recognition but is now worried he might lose it for failing the test.

Another teacher, with nine years of experience, said, “In last Sunday’s paper we were asked about psychologists and scientists related to child pedagogy, which we have not even heard about in our BEd and DEd courses. There is no link between what we teach the children and what we are asked in the exam.”

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