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Education flunks quality test
- Drive to fill up 1.25 lakh teaching vacancies hits wall as thousands fail exam

Patna, Nov. 28: The ground reality regarding primary education in the state remains gloomy despite the government’s administrative and financial reforms.

The state government is yet to complete the process of appointing 1.25 lakh teachers, while more than 25 per cent of contract teachers having three years’ work experience failed to clear the eligibility test.

Around 28 lakh candidates had appeared for the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) conducted by the education department in December 2011 and 1.47 lakh candidates were declared successful.

The results were declared in May 2012 but even after one-and-a-half years, the recruitment process of teachers is yet to be completed.

Of 1.25 lakh teachers to be recruited by the department, appointment letters of around only 40,000 teachers have been distributed. According to sources, the reason behind the tardy progress of recruitment is the large number of authorities involved in teachers’ appointment in the state.

There are around 9,000 teacher appointment authorities in the state. These authorities are mainly from the civic body. At the village-level, the appointment authorities are panchayat members, while in urban areas, the appointment authorities are municipality members.

A senior official of the education department said: “There are more than 9,000 teachers’ appointment authorities. Many candidates have applied from different authorities but they would have to join from only one place. The vacancies, therefore, remain the same.”

The department has been talking of completing recruitment of teachers as soon as possible. Education department principal secretary Amarjeet Sinha said: “Till now, around 40,000 appointment letters have been distributed. The department would organise a teachers’ recruitment camp to complete the process.”

However, the state government got a jolt this month when around 25 per cent of candidates, who had appeared in TET failed to clear the examination.

The result was announced on November 25, while the examination was conducted on October 19.

Around 43,447 contract teachers who have completed their service for three years had appeared in the test but of these, only 32,833 teachers were declared passed. Around 10,614 teachers, who account for around 25 per cent of the total number of examinees appearing in the test, failed to clear the examination.

Sources said the contract teachers, who had appeared in the test, taught students from classes I to VIII, while the questions in the examination were of Class X standard. The failure of a large number of teachers to clear the test also casts a doubt on various schemes introduced by the government to improve the standard of teachers.

On August 15, chief minister Nitish Kumar announced a hike of Rs 3,000 in the contract teachers’ salaries. The government also announced that teachers’ would get their salaries on time.

Upset with the large number of teachers failing to pass the TET, education minister P.K. Shahi said: “Candidates who failed to clear the test this time would get another opportunity. However, candidates who fail to clear the examination for the second time would lose their jobs.”

A permanent teacher working at a government school said: “The government should reframe its policy. Till now, it has stressed on quantity, now, they should stress on quality of teachers’ appointment.”

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