Mumbai, (The Hindu): Clearing test mandatory to secure job in zilla parishad and municipal schools
Only three of the 1.7 lakh teachers who appeared for the Maharashtra Teachers Aptitude and Intelligence Test (TAIT) in July 2017 were able to score more than 160 marks of the total 200.
The tests are meant to assess the intelligence levels of teachers and mandatory to secure a government job. A merit list is drawn based on the results and top scorers get first preference for vacancies across zilla parishad and municipal schools in the State.
While 450 teachers scored between 141 and 160 marks, a maximum of 62,982 teachers scored between 81 and 100 marks. About 47,124 scored the minimum scores between 61 and 80 marks.
The tests were conducted by the Maharashtra State Council of Examinations in Pune at 67 centres across the State in 30 batches on the Mahapariksha portal. The exams are conducted every six months and this was the second year the tests were held in the State. Teachers can appear for the test a maximum of five times to get better their scores.
Nand Kumar, State Education Secretary, said, “These tests are being conducted to test the intelligence of teachers, not their knowledge. Today, changes are taking place so rapidly in every field that there is no way one can keep pace with the knowledge base.”
However, teachers’ bodies in the State are opposed to the tests, which they term unfair and unnecessary. Anil Deshmukh, committee co-ordinator, Teachers’ Organisation of Brihanmumbai, said, “Teaching is an art. It involves sharing of knowledge between teachers and students. It is a skill that is not necessarily knowledge-based. Good marks in the tests do not guarantee that the teacher is good.”
‘An unfair test’
Mr. Deshmukh said it was also unfair that the tests were not mandatory for teachers of private, unaided and minority institutions, which form a bulk of the schools in Maharashtra. He said, “Till all teachers are made part of the process, restrictions imposed by such tests will always go against government teachers.”
Mr. Kumar, however, said there were no plans to introduce such aptitude tests for private school teachers. He said, “The quality of private schools is monitored by their management. It is the choice of parents to end their kids to private schools. But poor parents are left with no choice but to enrol their children in government schools. So monitoring the quality of teachers in government schools becomes critical.”
Mr. Kumar said private schools could also hire teachers by accessing PAVITRA (Portal For Visible to all Teachers Recruitment) after securing a login ID from the government. He said that the TAIT scores can be used to apply for vacant jobs listed on the portal. PAVITRA was envisioned to make appointment of teachers transparent and corruption-free. Vacant teaching positions in government schools can be advertised on the portal and teachers based on their TAIT scores can apply for them.
Ulhas Wadodkar, who heads the city unit of Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad, said, “First of all, the government does not have jobs for those graduating from teaching colleges, then it introduces such hurdles to gaining a job. Scores of just one test cannot be a determining factor for securing jobs. Just as students cannot be failed, teachers should not be failed.”
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