CTET gives some anxious moments

As many as 5,760 candidates took the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) in Chennai here on Sunday. The second such test, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), as mandated by Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, is used as a national standard in recruitment of teachers.

The examination was taken by many candidates, including teachers from other boards to join the schools run by the Central government, including the Kendriya Vidyalayas and the Navodaya Vidyalayas. Candidates from Chennai and neighbouring districts came to the six centres in the city to take the test.

This time, a good number of private school managements made it mandatory for their recruits to take the examination for becoming permanent employees. For instance, teachers of Bhavans' Rajaji Vidyashram recruited after April 2010 were asked to take the test and clear the examination within five years. “They will be on probation until they clear the TET conducted by the CBSE or the State government,” said Ajit Prasad Jain, senior principal, Bhavan's Rajaji Vidyashram.

A total of 2,643 candidates took the examination for teaching in the primary sections, and over 3,100 candidates attempted Paper II, for teachers from Classes VI to VIII. “This is the first step. Within the next few years, for new recruitments to private CBSE schools too, the test scores will become mandatory,” said an official at the CBSE regional office.

For candidates who took the test, it was a race against time. “Though the questions were quite simple, there was very little time, as 150 questions had to be answered in 90 minutes. Less than a minute per question could be allotted, and very little time was there to even read a passage for some questions. And in this duration we had to fill up the coding sheets too,” said V. Usha, a B.Ed holder who took the test.

Teachers looked anxious as they returned from the examination hall, for the examination tested them in many subjects. “I being a yoga teacher, it was difficult to answer concepts in mathematics and science which I studied at least 20 years ago. It would have been better if they had tested us in our subject,” said a private school teacher.

“I have taken this test only to gain experience, before I write the Teacher Eligibility Test by the State government,” said K. Sudhakar, who came from a matriculation school in Tiruvallur to write the test. Date for the first TET to be conducted by the State government is yet to be announced.