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Teacher test’s popularity skyrockets

Staff Reporter
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Quantum leap in number of candidates who attempted the Central eligibility exam this year

Giving it a shotAccording to the CBSE regional office, 5,718 candidates registered for the test in Chennai this year, as opposed to 2,984 who had registered for it last November — Photo: S.S. Kumar
Giving it a shotAccording to the CBSE regional office, 5,718 candidates registered for the test in Chennai this year, as opposed to 2,984 who had registered for it last November — Photo: S.S. Kumar

Over 5,700 candidates wrote the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) on Sunday, close to double the number that attempted it last year.

The test, conducted by the CBSE, is a qualifying examination for teachers to be appointed in schools run by the Central Government such as Kendriya Vidyalayas. It has been made mandatory under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

CBSE officials attributed the rise in numbers to increased awareness about the test and the prospects it offers.

According to the CBSE regional office, 5,718 candidates registered for the CTET in Chennai, as compared to 2,984 who had registered last time, in November 2012.  Close to 2,326 candidates registered for paper I, meant for those intending to teach classes I to V, and 4,535 candidates registered for paper II, meant for those intending to teach classes VI to VIII. Several attempted both papers.

The number of centres where the test was given was also increased from five to nine. This time, the candidates were given an additional hour to complete their papers, which had 150 multiple-choice questions.

“This is the fourth CTET, and the increase in numbers must be because of better awareness. More candidates are realising that it has become mandatory for appointment in Central government schools. The number of centres in the city also went up,” said D.T. Sudarshan Rao, regional officer, CBSE, adding that absenteeism was approximately 25 per cent.

Rao said the examination went off without any glitches at all nine centres.

Many private schools are encouraging teachers to clear the CTET within a specified time. K. Mohana, principal, Modern Senior Secondary School, said that five teachers from her school wrote the test on Sunday.

“We have asked teachers who joined us after 2010 to clear the CTET within five years, because it is an advantage for the teacher as well as the school,” she said.

Several candidates such as P. Bhagyalakshmi, a mathematics teacher at a CBSE school, attempted the examination for the first time out of her own interest. She said she has cleared the Tamil Nadu Teacher Eligibility Test as well.

Reactions to test though were mixed, despite the additional time given. Kavita Malik, who wrote paper I said that most of the questions were application-oriented and tested candidates on teaching methodologies.

M. Sowmiya, who had attempted the test for the second time found the questions on child development and pedagogy in paper II quite difficult. “More than one option seemed like the right answer,” she said.

The test was held in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, Mr. Rao said.

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