Experts call for better tools to assess teachers; schools say government has made right move

There is a mixed feeling about the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) to be conducted by Centralised Admission Cell on June 1 for recruitment of teachers for primary schools. While a few experts said there was need for better tools to assess aptitude and attitude of teachers, a school management representative said the government had made a right beginning .

Those holding diploma or bachelor degrees in Education (D.Ed and B.Ed) are eligible to write the TET. While diploma holders and B.Ed degree holders can teach children between classes 1 to 5, only a B.Ed degree holder can teach those from 6th to 8th standards. The Department has already started accepting applications for TET online. The last date for submitting applications is May 3.

As per the schedule, there will be two papers with 150 marks each of multiple choice questions.

The first paper will be for teachers opting for lower primary (standard 1 to 5), while the second paper will be for those opting for higher primary (standard 6 to 8) classes. The questions will be on child development and pedagogy, first and second language, mathematics and environmental studies.

Welcoming the government’s move, H. Raghavendra Rao, the headmaster of Canara High School, said that it was a beginning towards assessing the standard of teachers. “So far there was nothing to assess the aptitude, attitude and professionalism. As this is the first year, there will be confusion. But it’s a good beginning towards bringing quality in primary education.”

Kumaraswamy H., a lecturer in the Government Degree College and coordinator for comprehensive complete education system in the district, said multiple choice questions was an objective way of assessing candidates. “This gives a common denominator for assessing quality of those trained here with those in states from other states.”

Educationalist Balila Krishna Shastry said the multi-choice questions would reveal aptitude but not the attitude and mastery of the teacher in a subject. A teacher should be given a problem that child faces and he should be asked to give a solution using latest education theories.

Another educationalist Suresh Kulkarni said holding a TET was poor reflection of falling standards of teachers training. “More attention is needed to improve the D.Ed and B.Ed where quality is falling,” he said. Incentive linked assessment was a better alternative.

What is TET?

The Department of Public Instruction is conducting TET from this year. Anyone who wants to become a teacher will have to pass this. The Education department has made this mandatory from this year acting on the direction of National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE) issued in August 2010 as required under Section 2 of the Right to Education Act. This is applicable to fresh recruits in Government, Aided and Unaided schools.

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