Mandatory test for school teachers

Mandatory test for school teachers

Mandatory test for school teachers

 The Central Teacher Eligibility Test was rolled out last year to churn out better quality teachers. Get all the details on format, eligibility and scores from Kamala Balachandran .

Most people, who have heard of the RTE Act, know that the Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14, and that it requires all private schools to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for the underprivileged.

While this is undoubtedly the most significant provision of the Act, the RTE Act also lays down modalities for providing quality education to children in this age group.

Under the sub clause of the Right To Education Act, the National Council for Teacher Education, NCTE, has created a criterion for teachers for classes I to VIII.

According to this particular criterion, one of the essential qualifications for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in classes I to VIII is that he/she should pass the Teacher Eligibility Test, TET, which will be conducted by the appropriate government in accordance with the guidelines framed by the NCTE.

But what is the rationale for including the TET as a necessary qualification, especially when the teacher is already trained to teach and holds a degree or diploma in teaching?
Currently, we have hundreds of training colleges and universities all across the country, each with its own syllabus and examination.

Some of these degrees and diplomas are quite suspect and the quality of training imparted is sub-standard, making it difficult to compare the relative merits of candidates during the time of interview. TET aims to bring uniformity and national standards and a benchmark of teacher quality in the recruitment process.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has entrusted the responsibility of conducting the Central Teacher Eligibility Test, CTET, to the Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE, New Delhi. The first CTET-2011 was conducted in July last year. About eight lakh students appeared for the exam, out of which 14 per cent qualified.

The second exam was conducted in May 2012. Out of the 10 lakh students who took the exam this time, only 6 per cent secured the qualifying marks. Due to poor results and demand for aspiring teachers, CBSE has decided to conduct the CTET exam, twice a year. The second exam of this year will be conducted in November 2012.

Henceforth, only teachers who pass the CTET exam will be eligible for appointment in central government schools, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya schools and state government schools. But it makes sense for all teachers to pass this exam and thereby have a respectable, nationally-accepted qualification.

The validity period of the CTET qualifying certificate for appointment will be seven years from the date of declaration of the results for all categories. There is no restriction on the number of attempts a person can take for acquiring a CTET certificate. A person who has qualified for the CTET may also appear again for improving his/her score.

Minimum qualifications required for taking the CTET exam are as under:

For teaching classes I-V : Senior secondary or pre-university or its equivalent with at least 50 per cent marks or appearing in the final year of a two-year diploma in elementary education

For teaching classes VI-VIII :  A graduate degree in the final year of  a two-year diploma in elementary education (by whatever name known) or graduation with at least 50 per cent marks and passed or appearing in a one-year Bachelor in Education (B.Ed).
A more exhaustive list is available on the website.

Test format

There will be two papers for CTET. Paper I is for candidates who wish to apply for a position teaching classes I to V.

Paper II is for those who wish to teach classes VI to VIII. A person who intends to be a teacher for both levels (classes I to VIII) will have to appear for both papers (Paper I and Paper II).

All questions in the CTET test will be multiple-choice questions (MCQs), each carrying one mark, with four alternatives out of which one answer will be correct.

The candidates appearing for the CTET will be issued a marks statement. Candidates securing 60 per cent and above will be issued an eligibility certificate
 Candidates can apply for ‘CTET-NOV 2012’ online through the CBSE website ( or till August 31, 2012.

Candidates are required to take a printout of the computer-generated confirmation page with their registration number after the successful submission of data.

The confirmation page, complete in all respects, along with a demand draft should be sent through registered/speed post only to reach the CBSE office by September 7, 2012.

All details, including the previous question papers, are available on the websites mentioned.