Thursday, January 23, 2014

Practising teachers need not take RTE eligibility test: govt

Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 13, 2013
First Published: 01:06 IST(13/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:07 IST(13/4/2013)
In what could be an attempt to dilute standards set for teachers under the Right To Education Act, the state government has said only new teachers need appear for the teachers’ eligibility test (TET), on July 28.

A fresh circular from the exam council, Pune, said currently-serving school teachers will not be required to appear for the TET. “The government has withdrawn the clause in the government resolution dated February 13 that all school teachers will have to clear TET by 2015,” said a senior education official.
According to the RTE Act, every teacher, those currently working in schools and those planning to join the profession, will have to clear the TET. The test aims to implement a national standard of teaching quality in schools across the country. While aspiring teachers will need a certificate showing they have cleared the test, those already working as teachers will have to pass the test to get a promotion or additional work responsibilities.
However, education experts feel all teachers should take the test, especially because they have fared poorly in similar government exams in the last two years.  HT had reported on April 7 that only 0.4% of city teachers who took the test in 2012 cleared it. “This shows that quality teaching is lacking in our schools across India. But without TET how will we identify substandard teachers?” said Arundhati Chavan, principal, Swayam Siddhi College of Education, Bhiwandi.
Experts said exempting current teachers would not improve the quality of teaching. “Teachers working for several years do not upgrade their knowledge. The new test would force them to study topics relevant to the current generation of students,” said Basanti Roy, former secretary of the state board, Mumbai division.
The decision to exempt currently-serving teachers was taken after teachers’ associations petitioned the state. “Teachers currently employed in schools have the required qualifications and have attended regular in-service training . So why should they appear for a separate test?” said Anil Bornare, secretary, Maharashtra Teachers’ Association.

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