The results of the latest eligibility exam for teachers, conducted by the CBSE, have raised concern about the candidates' abysmal educational standard. From more than 6.6 lakh aspiring teachers, who took the Central Teacher Eligibility Test on September 21, only 5.6% could manage to qualify.
It is compulsory that any teacher, seeking job in government-funded CBSE schools, will have to clear CTET, which was introduced in 2011; even private schools prefer those who have cleared the test.
The exam comprises two papers: Paper I is meant for those intending to teach in classes I to V and Paper II for candidates looking to teach in classes VI to VIII. According to the CBSE data, only 11.95% of the 2.06 lakh candidates who appeared for Paper I could clear it. For over 4.59 lakh candidates taking Paper II, the pass percentage is just 2.8%.
Owing to the low pass percentage, schools have also been facing trouble getting recruits. "The test is very comprehensive and requires a lot of preparation, which many are not ready with. The fewer number of candidates qualifying the exam is leading to shortage of teachers in schools," said Jose Kurien, principal, DAV High School, Nerul.
The exam is conducted twice a year and BEd graduates can appear as many times as they want. Once qualified, the candidate is given a CTET certificate, which remains valid for seven years.
Ironically, this year's poor performance is better than the CTET results of February, when only 13,428 (1.79%) of the 7.50 lakh candidates qualified. The results for previous years have also been similar. Academicians blame the quality of teachers' education institutions in the country for the continued substandard performance by the candidates. "Most colleges offering teachers' education in the country are private institutions and the quality is not up to the mark. Moreover, many candidates enrol for the course but do not attend classes, as they are already employed somewhere else," said Arundhati Chavan, principal, Swayamsiddhi College of Education, Thane. "BEd students do not even know the basics and until existing malpractices are curbed, it is impossible to upgrade the quality.