The local administration passed in one of its biggest examinations on Sunday, as the Punjab State Teacher Eligibility Test (PSTET) passed off without a case of unfair means being reported at any of the 16 centres in Amritsar.
More than 95% candidates were women and below 30, and the presence of policewomen at every centre made a lot of difference to the ultimate smooth conduct. Not a pen or wristwatch was allowed inside, which left no scope for hi-tech cheating. Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat had appointed two observers — either tehsildar or subdivisional magistrate, and a college lecturer — at each centre.
The district education department was happy that its efforts had come good and the overall attendance was 96%. “We are proud to say that we had no cheating case to report in our district, thanks to support from the district administration and police,” said district education officer (secondary) Satinder Bir Singh. He said 2,930 candidates had reported for the morning test and another 2,825 for the evening examination. Of the 7,630 total candidates, 7,402 were present. The answer key would be out in two days and after considering objections, the result would be out in five days probably, he added.
The test seemed easy to the DEO, “since the candidates coming out looked happy”. He described it a good trend that women were keen to come into teaching. Controller of examination Mandeep Kaur said: “There was no scope of cheating. The candidates were a mix of working teachers and first-timers. At my centre, Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Mall Road, the examination was recorded on video for transparency.”
Easy one, say candidates
Most of the candidates approached for comments were happy with their performance. “If one came prepared, the questions were easy. I am positive about making it. The facilities offered and the arrangements made were quite good,” said candidate Kamalpreet Kaur, a teacher. Candidate Amandeep Singh liked the multiple-choice format. “A more practical way of judging IQ. Unlike subjective papers that reward cramming, this format will separate teachers with aptitude from those without,” he said.