THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Schools that record 100 per cent success rate are now dime a dozen in the state. But what about the success rate of teachers who appear for the mandatory Kerala Teacher Eligibility Test (KTET) every year? Hard to believe, but nearly 85 per cent of the teachers flunk the dreaded eligibility test.
The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) had framed a set of guidelines for teachers’ appointment in 2010 as per the Right To Education Act. According to it, a person must be TET-qualified in order to be appointed as a teacher from classes one to eight. The Kerala Government included classes nine and 10 under its ambit and introduced KTET in 2012.
As per a recent government order, all teachers appointed since 2012 have to clear the eligibility test and March, 2018 has been set as the deadline. This applies mostly to aided- school teachers, whose appointments since 2012 were ratified later by the government. According to teachers’ association representatives, close to 20,000 are now striving to clear the test.
The way forward
Faced with poor success rate, the government now plans to revamp the way in which the test is conducted.
“The current situation doesn’t take us anywhere. Since the bar is set very high, our teachers are unable to clear the test. We should ideally have a situation where the KTET becomes an eligibility test for getting admission to teachers’ training course,” General Education Secretary Usha Titus told Express. “Since it is called an eligibility test, it’s better if it tests a person’s aptitude for teaching before the course itself. We are in discussion and a decision will be taken soon,” she said.
According to Kerala School Teachers Association (KSTA) general secretary K C Harikrishnan, the eligibility of teachers must be examined. However, it should not be forced on existing teachers who have secured appointment after attaining qualifications which are over and above the requirement.
“No doubt, there should be an eligibility test. It should examine pedagogy, understanding of student psychology and teaching skills. But the current questions in KTET are far removed from reality and do not assess actual teaching skills,” Harikrishnan opined.
SCERT director J Prasad admitted continuous failure in the KTET examination does affect teachers’ morale. However, the state has to implement the norms laid down by the NCTE across the country. “There’re strict regulations on the part of the NCTE regarding the pattern of questions,” said Prasad. The current situation has come as a bounty for various coaching centres which are making a kill, thanks to huge enrolment of teachers who want to clear KTET.