What is the role of a teacher? Why do we need a school calendar and time table? These are some of the questions that Rehbar-e-Talim ( ReT) teachers in Jammu and Kashmir will have to answer when they appear for a screening test to be conducted by the state education department to assess their competence.
The test will only be conducted for those teachers who have obtained degrees from study centres or through distance learning mode, termed as ‘tuck-shops’ by the state high court.
“The test is in the spirit of high court directions. We can’t afford to have teachers who can’t even write an essay on cow and have basic skills of English language. Many developed countries have invested heavily on quality education and this is what we intend to do in Jammu and Kashmir,” said education minister Nayeem Akhtar.
In May, the high court had directed the state government to hold screening test for ReT teachers to test their competence after one of them had failed to write an essay on cow. The court had asked the authorities to file an FIR against the teacher, who had secured 75 per cent marks from Global Open University in Nagaland, a non-recognised university. The 150-marks test would evaluate teachers on aptitude, general awareness, language skills, and assess their knowledge in subjects like mathematics, science and social science. The ReT scheme was announced by the National Conference government in 2000 to hire teachers for newly opened schools under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. These teachers, who are paid a monthly salary of `3,000, are regularised after five-year service. At present, there are 52,155 ReT teachers across the state.