60% marks in Teacher Eligibility Test mandatory for recruitment

It is now mandatory for all teachers to pass the Teacher Eligibility Test with at least 60 per cent marks for recruitment for classes I to VIII.

The State government has notified the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) as per the requirement of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. As per the guidelines framed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), the academic authority for RTE, teachers must pass the TET within five years, besides possessing the prescribed minimum qualification. Teachers working in unaided private schools are also required to pass TET within five years.

With a Diploma in Teacher Education (D.T.Ed), one is eligible to be a secondary grade teacher (for classes I to V), while graduate assistants (who teach classes VI to VIII) should hold a B.Ed. degree. Teachers in the State would have to pass TET conducted by the Teachers' Recruitment Board, which has been designated as the nodal agency.

The government has made it clear that the prescribed pass mark in TET (60 per cent) would not affect its existing reservation policy. A School Education department order dated November 15 said managements of schools run by the government and local bodies, besides aided and unaided ones, “may consider giving concessions to persons belonging to SC/ST/OBC, differently abled persons, etc., in accordance with their extant reservation policy”.

The GO also states that secondary grade teachers would continue to be recruited based on State-wide seniority in the Employment Exchange Registration.

The one-and-a-half hour exam will evaluate candidates on topics such as child development and pedagogy, language, mathematics and environmental studies. TET would be conducted at least once a year.

The guidelines stipulated by the State say there will be no restriction on the number of attempts a person can make for acquiring TET certification. The validity period of the certificate for appointment will be decided by the State government, but it is subject to a maximum of seven years.

The State government would submit a report of each TET to the NCTE, which would maintain a database and a repository of experts and resources.

While TET is bound to face some resistance from teachers, it promises to improve the quality of teachers. As D. Kumaran, former Head of the Department of Education, University of Madras, says, “The mark by a university may not be the indicative index of the capability or competency of students, as different institutions have different yardsticks for evaluation.” Teachers would now keep updating their knowledge and the quality would improve with a common test, he adds.

In June this year, the first Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) was conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). This was applicable to schools of the Central government, such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas.

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