Only one out of every eighteen aspirants who appeared for the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) 2014 cleared the exam, raising questions over the quality of training given to teachers in the country.
Out of 6.6 lakh candidates appearing for the exam from across the country on September 21, only 37,472 cleared it. While 5.6% of aspirants cleared both papers in the CTET, only 11.9% cleared paper –I; 2.8% cleared paper-II. The papers tests teachers’ knowledge in the languages and the subjects they will be teaching.
The results in this test was just a tad better than the last exam conducted in January when only 2% students passed the exam. The CTET exam, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), is mandatory for teachers who teach classes 1 to 8.
The dismal performance of teachers has raised concern among experts. “It is shocking to see that a majority of teachers passing from teacher training institutes cannot clear a basic eligibility test that tests their knowledge,” said Basanti Roy, former divisional secretary of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
Roy said that the reason for the bad results is the reluctance by teachers to update their knowledge. “Teachers maybe good in delivery but they lack content knowledge. As the syllabus is advancing, teachers too need to constantly be updated on their subject,” she added.
On the other hand, principals of CBSE schools said that teachers who do not teach languages failed in language papers, especially Hindi. All candidates have to mandatorily appear for Hindi and English papers and the minimum passing marks is 60%.
“If science teachers are made to answer language tests, obviously they will not perform well,” said Raj Alonee, principal of Ram Sheth Thakur Public School, Kharghar. “Those who have not studied Hindi after school or college find the test very difficult. Teachers from Mumbai are particularly facing this problem.”
Some principals also blamed those candidates who gave the test after a long break from their studies for the poor results. “Candidates who have cleared BEd or MEd five or six years back and giving the test now, have lost touch with their subjects and are unable to clear this theoretical exam,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar School, Santacruz.