This is the highest pass percentage among the four Central Teacher Eligibility tests held by CBSE

Ahead of Teachers’ Day on September 5, the results of the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) announced on Monday, have posed a timely reminder about the state of teacher education in the country.

A total of 77,364 candidates have passed – about 10 per cent of the 7.76 lakh candidates who appeared for the test held in July. This is the highest pass percentage among the four CTET’s held so far by CBSE across the country. In the November 2012 test, the pass percentage was just about one per cent.

Over 5,000 candidates from Chennai had registered for the test.

Though welcoming the increase in the pass percentage this time around, schools and educationists in the city say there is still a long way to go.

Passing CTET, a qualifying examination has been made mandatory for appointment as a teacher in classes I to VIII in Central government schools such as the Kendriya Vidyalayas, after the RTE Act, 2009 came into effect.

Candidates who cleared the examination, attributed their performance to the extension in time from 1.3 to 2.3 hours. Karthika Sudershan, who cleared Paper II, said the paper tested candidates on their understanding of the subject, not just facts. “The time was just adequate,” she said. Paper II, which has 150 multiple choice questions, broadly tests candidates on child development and pedagogy, mathematics, science, social science and languages.

Ajeeth Prasath Jain, senior principal, Bhavans Rajaji Vidyashram, said teachers are now realising the test is here to stay. An increase in pass percentage also meant that more teachers will be motivated to take up the exam, he said.

A CBSE official also attributed the higher pass percentage to the increased duration as well as to candidates getting acquainted with the standard of the paper. “Last time 30-35 per cent of candidates had scored above 80, but lost out by a few marks. One of the reasons could have been lack of time,” the official said.

Increasingly, private CBSE schools in the city are insisting that teachers who joined after 2010 clear the CTET within a specified time. “We ask teachers who join us afresh to clear CTET within two years, because it is difficult to recruit teachers with that qualification. Only 10 per cent of new teachers pass muster. However, CTET is only an additional qualification,” said P. Vijaylakshmi, principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya.

A principal of a teacher training college however, said the huge number of failures needed to be looked into. She said standards in teacher training were deteriorating, partly because of the mushrooming of a large number of private institutes. “Until standards are maintained across institutes, tests like CTET and Tamil Nadu TET cannot be done away with,” she said.

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