CHENNAI: Nearly 40,000 candidates skiepped the second paper of Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) on Sunday, after the government recently announced that new appointments may not be made.
While 4,20,957 candidates applied for Paper 2, conducted for upper primary teachers, only 3,80,317 candidates appeared. Similarly, of the 1.83 lakh teachers who applied for paper 1 (for lower primary teachers), 20,000 candidates absented themselves.
School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan, had told journalists recently that new appointments may not be made at primary government and aided schools. In fact, earlier this year, several primary school teachers were asked to teach at the newly launched LKG, UKG classes at Anganwadis. This was resisted by primary school teachers.
“Following this announcement, many teachers decided to not write the test,” said K Kumar, a candidate who absented himself for the exam. A senior official from the school education department, on condition of anonymity, said lowered enrolment in government primary schools, has recently created a surplus of primary teachers.
However, TET conducted on Saturday and Sunday assumes significance as the fate of around 1,500 government and aided school teachers depends on it.
According to Right to Education (RTE) Act 2010, National Council for Teacher Education guidelines specify that clearing TET will be a requirement for appointment as a teacher for classes I to VIII. Teachers who were appointed in 2010, before the law was ratified, were asked to clear the exam.
While the test is supposed to be conducted every year, the Teachers Recruitment Board, has conducted it only four times since, leaving 1,500 teachers who are yet to clear the test.
TNTET was last conducted in 2017. Apart from their subject specialisation, candidates also have to clear tests in child pedagogy and development, as well as Tamil and English language components as a part of the exam.
Teachers who wrote the exam on Sunday said all components of the paper, except English, was difficult as several questions were asked from the new syllabus.