The school service commission has postponed the March 9 test to recruit teachers for classes V to VIII in state-aided schools to March 29.
School service commission chairman Subiresh Bhattacharya said the test had to be deferred because of lack of preparations. “We are being forced to defer the test to March 29 because we are yet to complete all procedures for conducting the test,” Bhattacharya said.
Admit cards of several candidates are yet to be ready and the process of allotting exam venues to the candidates is far from over. “As the situation stands, it would take at least a fortnight to complete all procedures,” said a commission official.
The state Higher Secondary exam calendar had a role to play in the 20-day pushback. HS 2014 will start on March 12 and continue till March 28.
Bhattacharya said it would not be possible to hold the test till March 28 because most of the HS schools where the commission plans to set up test venues would be reserved for the school-leaving exam.
The teacher recruitment test will be held at over 1,000 centres across Bengal. The deferment inconveniences nearly 5.30 lakh candidates who will vie for 4,900 posts.
Bhattacharya held the postal department responsible for the delay in completing the preparations. The commission had signed an agreement with the postal department for distribution of examination forms from 847 post offices across the state.
According to the agreement, the commission would carry the forms to the main post office in each of the 19 districts. The postal department would then despatch the forms to the 847 centres in its vehicles for distribution to the candidates.
Candidates from several districts had complained that the forms were not available at their nearest distribution centres even till February 11, the last date of submitting filled-in forms. The complaints left the panel with no option but to extend the last date for submitting forms.
Bhattacharya said the commission received the last set of filled-in forms from the post offices on February 25. “After receiving the forms we need to go through several stages before admit cards can be issued to the eligible candidates,” said Bhattacharya.
The primary teacher eligibility test (TET) is scheduled for March 30. Many candidates who have planned to write both TET and the school service commission’s exam will be inconvenienced as they will have to appear in two tests within 24 hours.
But Bhattacharya said the commission would not be able to hold its exam on a later date because it had already announced that the exam process would be wrapped up by March 31. Moreover, the National Council for Teacher Education, which regulates teacher education in the country, has set March 31 as the last date for untrained candidates to apply for teaching jobs.
From April 2014, only those with a BEd or an equivalent degree can apply for teaching jobs in schools.