Ludhiana teaching aspirants, helpless, uncertain after PSTET goof-up
Teaching aspirants shared that the PSTET was marred by discrepancies; the blunder made the whole exam for which they had religiously prepared a matter of mockery
Candidates aspiring to become government school teachers are finding themselves helpless after the Punjab Teachers Eligibility Test (PTET) was canceled on Sunday, following a major goof-up.
The paper -2 of PSTET, which is a qualifying test to become a trained graduate teacher for classes 6 to 8, was cancelled after it was flagged that the social studies section of the exam had the correct options of over 55 multiple-choice questions in bold.
The exam was conducted at over 200 centres across the state between 2 pm to 4:30, and as many as 6,500 candidates had appeared for paper-2 at 21 centres in Ludhiana
The test was conducted by the Guru Nanak Dev University through offline mode. Candidates shared that the whole exam was marred by discrepancies; the blunder made the whole exam for which they had religiously prepared a matter of mockery.
Sharing his frustration, Rajinder Singh, a final year student of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed), said he was dedicatedly putting in three to four hours for the last eight months for the preparation. “I have a master’s in zoology and am pursuing B.Ed through regular mode, the test was being conducted after two years and the cancellation has left me disheartened.”
He added that even as the government has announced to re-conduct the examination for the students, the time and energy that was lost cannot be retrieved. He added that as most of the candidates were girls, their parents and other relatives also had visited the exam centres after managing time out of their schedule.
25-year-old, Mansi Sharma who holds a postgraduate degree in commerce said, “After seeing the question paper, we were sure that the exam will be cancelled. We informed the invigilators and other officials at the centre but despite that our time was wasted.”
She added that as qualifying for the test also makes one eligible for teaching jobs at private schools she had postponed the coursework of her degree for the preparation. As the exam will be held again candidates are at the receiving end of the situation, she shared.
Several candidates who had opted for subjects other than social studies, including maths, science, arts and craft also shared that the exam should be re-conducted only for the social studies batch. A candidate from Jagraon, Raminder Singh said it will bring major respite to the students if the authorities decide to re-conduct the exams only for social studies students.
A number of students also shared that in paper-1 many students were handed over question papers with blank pages inside them which were later replaced. Guneet Kaur said she received the social studies question paper 20 minutes after the scheduled time and no reason was given when she asked about the same.
An education department official said the department had started making arrangements for the centres, assigning duties and managing logistics a few weeks in advance. He added that around 300 invigilators were deployed at the centres along with other staff in Ludhiana alone. With the cancellation all their hard work has been wasted, he added.
A principal at the District Institute of Education and Training which offers B.Ed courses said while the government has initiated action against those responsible, such incidents impact the confidence level of the candidates.