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Teacher test shocker

- 55 in 56 fail exam for elementary school posts

New Delhi, March 22: Just one in every 56 candidates has cleared a national eligibility test for would-be schoolteachers, the results close to the worst in the exam’s three-year history that is marked by extremely low pass rates.

A senior educator said the key reason was the ineptitude of most examinees in answering analytical questions on how to teach children in specified classroom situations.

Although the number of successful candidates would still be higher than that of the jobs available, the poor overall showing paints a depressing picture because all the examinees are diploma holders in elementary education.

Of the 750,722 candidates who took the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) on February 16, only 13,428 cleared it to become eligible for recruitment as teachers for elementary classes (I to VIII) at central and Union territory government schools.

The pass rate of 1.78 per cent is the worst after the 1 per cent witnessed in the November 2012 CTET. The highest success rate of 10 per cent was witnessed in July 2013.

Clearing the exam does not ensure a teacher’s job, it only makes the candidate eligible to appear in the job interview.

The qualifying (pass) score is 120 out of 200 for general category candidates and 110 for those from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

Vineet Joshi, chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education which conducts the exam, said that pass rates had been poor since the CTET was introduced in June 2011. It is held twice a year, once in summer and once in the winter.

“The questions look to assess candidates’ understanding of children’s development, pedagogy and subjects such as mathematics and social science, among others,” Joshi told The Telegraph.

“We found that the candidates have been doing very badly on questions relating to children’s development and pedagogy. These questions are not very difficult, but the candidates have to think and analyse before answering.”

In these sections, candidates are asked to think about classroom situations and suggest how a particular concept can best be taught to all children, irrespective of their varied learning levels.

Passing the CTET is a must for recruitment to central government schools such as the Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and Tibetan Schools as well as schools administered by the Union territories (such as Delhi and Chandigarh).

State government-run and aided schools recruit teachers through their respective state government’s Teacher Eligibility Test (TET).

A state, however, can recruit teachers through the CTET if it decides not to conduct the TET. The pass rates in the TETs range between 10 and 30 per cent.

Anyone who has passed their Class XII board exams and obtained a diploma in elementary education from a recognised institute is eligible to take the CTET and their state TET.