By Tijender,Punjab : The Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) to be conducted by State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Punjab has been postponed to 03.07.2011. Earlier this test was scheduled to be held on 12.06.2011. The main aim of this test is to bring national standard and benchmark of teacher quality in recruitment process.Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009, popularly known as Right to Education (RTE) Act, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) , vide its notification dated 23rd of August 2010, laid down minimum qualification for the appointment of teachers in classes I to VIII. One of the condition to be appointed as teacher is that the person must pass the Teacher Eligibility Test to be conducted by the government in accordance with the guidelines issues by NCTE. The Punjab government has entrusted the responsibility of conducting this test to SCERT.
According to the information available on the website of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan Punjab, the minimum qualification for a teacher in class I-V is senior secondary with 50% marks and 2-year diploma in elementary education. For teacher in class VI-VIII , the minimum qualification is BA/B.Sc and 2-year diploma in elementary education or BA/B.Sc. with 50% marks plus B. Ed. A candidate must score at least 60% marks to qualify the test. For a teacher in classes I to V, there will one paper of 90 minutes carrying 150 multiple choice type questions. The questions will be based on child development and pedagogy, languages, mathematics and environmental studies. For those aspiring to become teacher for classes VI-VIII, there will be Paper II also on similar pattern. Questions in Paper II will be based on child development and pedagogy and languages as compulsory parts, apart from maths and science for math-science teachers and social science for S.S. Teachers. Other teachers can choose either maths-science or social science.
This is perhaps the first time that the education department has felt the need of such a test to maintain standards in teacher recruitment. Questions have been raised on the standard of teachers in Punjab, who, despite holding degrees, lack competence . In 2008, only 45 teachers out of 4500 were able to pass English proficiency test conducted by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan Punjab, putting the Punjab Education Department to embarrassment.