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Venue confusion on teacher test eve

Calcutta, March 30: Several candidates taking the primary teacher recruitment test scheduled for tomorrow said today that they did not know their exam centres, raising questions on the government’s preparedness to hold the examination.

Many others alleged that they had been allotted centres at far-away places.

Nearly 45 lakh candidates will take the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) to be conducted by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to fill up nearly 35,500 vacancies in the 59,000-odd state-aided primary schools in Bengal.

Holding the examination is an “administrative challenge” for the government given the huge number of applicants, a senior official admitted. This is the first time the government will fill up so many vacant teacher’s posts at one go.

He said a large number of candidates contacted board authorities today to enquire about their exam venues.

The government had experimented with information technology this time to provide exam details to candidates.

The exam venues were uploaded on www.wbbpe.org and www.wbsed.gov.in.

The candidates were also informed through a notification that the exam centres could be known by sending a text message mentioning the nine-digit registration number to 56767 or 56161.

Some candidates The Telegraph spoke to alleged that the technology didn’t work.

“I tried on the website and also sent several text messages but could not get the name of my centre till this evening. I don’t know what to do,” a candidate from Tollygunge said.

Many candidates complained they had been allotted centres far away from their homes.

An examinee who lives in Harinabhi in South 24-Parganas said her exam venue was in Kakdwip, 72km away. Another candidate whose home is in Shyambazar said his exam venue was in Haroa in North 24-Parganas, 80km away.

“The websites and the text messages only mention the name of the school. They should have also given the address,” another candidate said.

The exam will start at 1pm tomorrow and continue for an hour. The candidates will be tested in English as well as in their first language, such as Bengali, Urdu, Nepali, Santhali, Telugu and Odiya. The exam paper will also have multiple-choice questions on mathematics, child psychology and environment science.

A board official said “special venues” had been arranged for candidates who could not get the names of the exam centres.

“The candidates will be allowed to enter these centres in their respective districts if they have valid admit cards. The candidates, however, will have to obtain permission from the nearest district primary council office or the district inspector’s office for taking the test at the special centres,” the official said.

Metro from 11am

Metro Railway will operate trains from 11am tomorrow because of the primary school teacher recruitment examination. Trains will run at 15-minute intervals from 11 am to 2pm. Metro services normally begin from 2pm on Sundays.