TET preparations commence, but where are the jobs?

Adhering to the recently issued directives of the state government, Maharashtra State Examination Council (MSEC) authorities have initiated preparations to conduct the first-ever Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) in the state that would soon become mandatory for those applying in government or private schools as primary teachers. But a few questioned the move stating that when already lakhs of Diploma in Teacher Education (DTEd) holders were unemployed, how would TET help aspiring teachers.

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“TET will soon become compulsory for candidates wanting to start their career as school teachers. The government has given the responsibility for conducting this exam to MSEC and the preparations have commenced,” MSEC Chairperson Dilip Sahasrabuddhe said.

As per the state directive, the deadline to conduct first TET is October-November 2013. The directive clears that the TET certificate is only a prerequisite for a post of a, but it will not ensure a job.

“We are confident of conducting the exam by year-end. Our job is to organise it. Syllabus and paper setting falls under State Council for Educational Research Training (SCERT). The papers are different for candidates applying for jobs for Std I to Std Vand for those applying for Std VI to Std VIII,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

Sources in the MSEC said that considering the existing number of unemployed DTEd holders, TET becomes redundant. While the state initiated Common Entrance Test (CET) for DTEd holders to ensure new recruitment in government schools in 2009, it failed to conduct CET test I the last four years, citing lack of job opportunities in state-run schools.

“Around 90,000 candidates clear DTEd exam every year. This means that nearly 3.5 lakh unemployed DTEd holders are in race to crack TET to get a job,” Sahasrabuddhe said. Meanwhile, the government offered relief to all in-service teachers by clearing that TET would be compulsory for unemployed DTEd or Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree holders.

When contacted, Secretary of Maharashtra State Principals Association Arun Thorat said, “We support government’s decision about introducing TET to ensure quality of teachers at the entry-level itself.” Replying to the question about application of TET for in-service teachers, Thorat replied, “Making TET compulsory for these teachers is not feasible due to various reasons. What about those who are about to retire? It will complicate the matter. So it is better to start with the afresh.”

Not so pleased
The announcement of making TET has not gone down well with the job aspirants. “I completed DTEd in 2011 and am still hunting for a job. When there are hardly any positions available, why is the state adding another red tape? If it wants to ensure quality of teachers, then TET should be made mandatory for the existing lot too. How can they apply separate rules to aspiring and in-service teachers,” a DTEd holder said.

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