School teachers found themselves in a soup when the state education department called for applications for the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) between October 21 to 30, as the Diwali holidays stretched from 22 to 26.
Many teachers waited for hours to submit their forms for the mandatory exam
Teachers from across the state rushed to the application centres in order to finish the process in just four days from October 27 to 30. Most ended up waiting in queues for seven to eight hours before their application form was accepted.
The situation was worse for teachers from the Mumbai division, as there are only two centres in the city to accept the forms. “I was at the Malad centre at 9:30 am and my form got accepted at 3:30 pm. We were all waiting in queue without any information as to why it was taking so long.
Many women had left their infants at relatives’ houses in order to finish this process,” said a teacher from an Andheri school, who submitted her form at N L High School in Malad, one of the centres. The other centre was Purshottam High School at Bandra (East). Many female teachers had taken their tots along to the collection centres on these days.
Many instructors who were waiting to submit forms on Tuesday, had to return on Wednesday to submit them. “Since the collection centre shuts at 4 pm, all of us who were waiting to submit forms were handed over coupons and asked to show up at the centre again on Wednesday with the coupons.
Our forms were accepted accordingly on Wednesday,” said Rajni Seta, a teacher from a Dahanu school. Seta had to stay over at a relative’s house in Borivali on Tuesday night, as she had to reach the centre again on Wednesday morning to submit her application.
The Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) has been made compulsory by the central government, since the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The purpose was to improve the quality of education imparted in schools.
The test includes questions on the subject chosen to teach and general knowledge questions. However, the level of difficulty of this examination has resulted in less than 5 % teachers passing the same in the state.
Similarly, the all India TET conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) saw less than 10% teachers passing the examination. The validity period of TET qualifying certificate is seven years.
The state education department has given time until 2015 for teachers to appear and clear this examination. “Even the documents that need to be submitted are many and with just four days to finish this process for lakhs of teachers, the least that can be done is extending the deadline for form submission,” said Revati Lad, a secondary teacher from a Mira Road school.
She added that thousands of teachers are yet to finish this process and if they don’t manage to submit forms this time, they’ll have to wait till next year to apply for the exam.
When mid-day spoke to the Maharashtra State Examination Council, officials said that there is no need for extension of the deadline. “All teachers wait till the last day to submit their forms so it isn’t our fault.
Everybody across the state had Diwali holidays and still teachers in other parts of the state have managed to submit their forms. There’s still time until October 30 evening for teachers to complete the application process,” said Dilip Sahasrabuddhe, director, Maharashtra State Examination Council.