Marred by poor infrastructure and facilities, vacant posts and few quality teachers imparting education to students at government schools, the Punjab school education board (PSEB), it seems, is making efforts to boost education in the state. And one of the few steps taken in this direction is PSEB chairman Dr Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal’s endeavour to conduct the Punjab Teacher Eligibility Test (PTET) in a fair manner.
Talking to Hindustan Times about the issue, PSEB chairman, , who was in Amritsar on Saturday, said the Board has assured strict vigilance for Punjab Teacher Eligibility Test (PTET), which would be conducted at various centres in 22 districts of Punjab on December 13.
She said, “Over 1.7 lakh candidates will be appearing for this test. We need to conduct it in a fair manner and have to maintain transparency. Every centre will be under the scanner of CCTV and the exam will also be videographed.”
She added that the Board did not want any gaps or loopholes in conducting the exams, which would decide not only the future of the candidates appearing in it, but also the students. “Therefore, we are involving the district administrations, including the DC, SSP’s, DEO’s, etc for the smooth conduct of the exam. We won’t allow staff and candidates who are future teachers to carry even a pen into the hall. They cannot bring along their mobile phones and cannot even wear a wrist watch. We are making proper arrangements for them. I am surveying centres personally,” said Dhaliwal, after a meeting with Mandeep Kaur, principal of the Government Girls Senior secondary School (GGSSS), Mall Road, which will serve as a nodal centre among the total 16 centres in Amritsar.
Dr Dhaliwal also had a detailed meeting with DEO (SE) Satinder Bir Singh and school heads of various centres and asked them to make sure that no inconvenience was caused to the candidates and no case of unethical means occurred at their centres.
Around 7,000 candidates for Paper 2 and 3,000 for Paper 1 will take the exams in Amritsar.
Difficulty level of teacher eligibility test need to be raised
Dhaliwal was also of the view that the difficulty level of teacher eligibility test must be raised. “This year also, we have tried to raise the standard of the test. The test consists of multiple choice questions. There are 150 questions to be solved in 150 minutes. The content of the paper has been set out of the curriculum of class 6 to 8 and the difficulty level is that of the graduation level. As of now one has to get 90 out of 150 to qualify in the exams. To boost the quality of teacher education, the difficulty level has to be high,” she said, adding that in the coming years, the standard of the test would be raised further.
Meanwhile, Bir informed that only 3 to 8 percent of the candidates actually qualified for this test.
Good administrators, educators needed
Meanwhile, Dhaliwal said good administrators and educators were needed to boost quality education in the state. She said, “It’s not that the government schools lack quality teachers, however, the number of quality teachers is less. Young teachers are needed to impart education in an unusual way. The school heads and education authorities need to come out of the shackles of the old school of thought and on their personal level need to become good administrators and educators.”
Commenting on poor infrastructure and discipline in schools of rural Punjab, Dr Dhaliwal, said, “As compared to other states, Punjab still has good infrastructure. May be people are unaware of the plight of the government schools outside Punjab. Yes, discipline and check on students is an issue and that’s because even after filling a few posts, many are still vacant. But those posts will be filled soon. Many changes have already been brought in and many are on cards”