The Jharkhand government will recruit at least 17,000 school teachers within the next one year through the third Jharkhand Teachers’ Eligibility Test (JTET) to be held on November 20, a top official said on Thursday.
There are more than 7,000 vacancies for teachers in the state and the government will create 10,000 new posts to rope in more trained and regular teachers in a bid to create a congenial atmosphere for quality education without protests and strikes, said state school education and literacy secretary Aradhana Patnaik.
“From now we will hold the JTET every year and new posts too will be created to gradually transfer the responsibility of school education on the shoulders of trained, regular teachers, capable of imparting quality education for holistic growth of the children,” she said.
“At present, there are 52,000 regular teachers and 70,000 para teachers who teach more than 50 lakh students in more than 40,000 government-run schools in the state.”
Para teachers, who run a number of schools in the rural areas without any support of regular teachers, have crippled education in villages by going on strike more than five times in the past decade, demanding regularisation of their services. Para teachers across the state have been on strike since October 17, and have threatened to knock Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s door for help.
With the recruitment of 17,000 new teachers, the number of ad hoc and regular teachers will be the same in state. The eligible para teachers who clear the tests, too will be recruited, depending on their performance, Patnaik said.
“We do not have anything against para teachers and they are welcome to appear in the test and prove their eligibility,” she said.
The first JTET was held in 2011, but was declared null and void. The second JTET, held in 2013, filled 15,000 of the 22,000 posts of teachers in the state.
At present, there is one teacher for every 35 students in the state, most of who are ad hoc and need to prove their eligibility, a source state school education department said.
Data with the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC), the body which is authorised to hold the exam, states that a total of 2, 52,734 candidates will appear in the JTET on November 20.
More than 90,000 candidates will appear for exams to prove their eligibility for teaching students of classes 1 to 5, while the remaining 1.5 lakh for classes 6 to 8.
Teachers from the general category will have to answer a total of 150 questions in the exam and secure at least 60% marks to prove their eligibility.
The cut off for Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste candidates is 52%. After the results are out, the teachers will be called for interviews and recruited on the basis of their performance in the test and the interview, officials said.
JAC chairperson Arvind Singh said exams will be conducted across 500 centres in nine districts, including Ranchi, Lohardaga, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh,Chaibasa, Jamshedpur, Deoghar and Dumka.
“Admit cards are only available online. The centres too have been selected keeping the convenience of the candidates in mind,” he said.