More than 2.5 lakh candidates on Sunday appeared for the Jharkhand Teachers’ Eligibility Test (JTET) in 500 centres across nine districts in the state.
The Jharkhand government plans to recruit more than 17,000 teachers for primary and middle schools through the test that was conducted by the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC), a top official said.
There are more than 7,000 vacancies for teachers in the state and the government will create 10,000 new posts over the next one year to rope in more trained and regular teachers, said state school education and literacy secretary Aradhana Patnaik.
A number of candidates, who wrote the test, said question papers only tested the memorising ability of the examinees and did not have questions that required clear understanding of a subject.
“A majority of the questions were about who wrote what and who said what. Very few questions actually gave us the opportunity to explain how much we understand a subject,” said Manoj Kumar Mandal, a candidate from Dumka, who appeared for the test in Dhanbad.
Other candidates said that the test did not stress on competence in local languages.
The written exams were conducted in two shifts –one for filling vacancies in classes 1 to 5 and other for vacancies in classes 6 to 8.
More than 90,000 candidates wrote the test to prove their eligibility for teaching students of classes 1 to 5, while the remaining 1.5 lakh for classes 6 to 8.
“The exams were conducted peacefully in the nine districts and successful candidates will be called for interviews after evaluation of the answer sheets, which will take a few months,” said JAC chairperson Arvind Singh.
Eight candidates, including five from Dumka and three each from Ranchi and Dhanbad, were expelled for using unfair means during the test, JAC officials 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.
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, said a source from the state school education department.
Teachers from the general category had to answer a total of 150 questions in the exam and secure at least 60% marks to prove their eligibility.
The cut off for the scheduled tribe and scheduled caste candidates is 52%. Candidates were given 2.5 hours to answer the questions.
Exams were conducted in Ranchi, Lohardaga, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh,Chaibasa, Jamshedpur, Deoghar and Dumka.