Candidates who took paper I on Saturday said Tamil section was difficult
T. P. Dhanalakshmi, who appeared for paper I of the third Tamil Nadu Teacher Eligibility Test (TNTET) on Saturday, found the section on child pedagogy ‘interesting’.
Taking her first attempt at the paper, she said, “I had read about how very few clear it. But, I prepared well and am happy with how I performed.”
She was one of the 2.6 lakh aspiring candidates who attempted the first paper of the qualifying examination this year and hopes to secure a government job as a secondary grade teacher.
Paper I is meant for those intending to teach classes I to V. Passing the Teacher Eligibility Test has been made mandatory for appointment as a teacher in State-run schools under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. In Tamil Nadu, it is conducted by the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) and candidates have to secure 60 per cent and above to be eligible for recruitment.
In paper I, 150 multiple-choice questions test knowledge on child development and pedagogy, language, mathematics and environmental science. On Sunday, over 4 lakh candidates including 2,92,754 women candidates, 5,497 differently-abled candidates and 2,477 candidates with visual impairment are set to attempt paper II, meant for those intending to teach classes VI to VIII.
In the previous TNTET held in October 2012, only around 19,000 of the 6.7 lakh candidates who appeared for both the papers made the cut. The first TNTET was held in July 2012. Following poor performance of candidates and a request for the time to be extended, the supplementary examination was conducted in October and time was extended to three hours.
Those like K. Gomathi, a teacher at a private school, have been trying hard to clear the paper to secure a well-paying government job. “I studied very hard and even left my children at my in-laws’ place to prepare. But, the paper was quite difficult,” she said. This was her third attempt at clearing the paper. On Saturday, many candidates observed the section on Tamil was tough for those who have not majored in the language, as it had questions on literature.
According to the TRB, of the 2,68,429 allotted candidates for paper I, 5,854 candidates, accounting for 2.18 per cent, were absent. Chennai also recorded the maximum number of absentees with 4.47 per cent of the candidates giving paper I a miss, an official said. Of the 9,057 allotted candidates, only 8,652 candidates appeared for paper I, according to the TRB.
Teachers are recruited based on a system of weightages, where class XII, DT.Ed marks and TET scores are taken into account for secondary grade teachers. For graduate assistants, class XII, graduation, B.Ed and TET scores are taken into account. Currently, secondary grade teachers will be recruited based on TET scores as well as employment seniority because of the Supreme Court’s interim direction, a TRB official said.
However, activists have been demanding that the qualifying mark be lowered for SC/ST candidates to fill seats reserved for them. “Relaxation does not mean compromising on quality. Those appearing for the TET are already qualified to be teachers. This is a test for employment and the reservation guidelines must be followed,” he said.