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Reality check: In Bihar, every 4th primary, middle teacher failed Class V-level test

43,000 contractual teachers took ‘competency’ exam, over 10,000 failed. (AP)

In September, 43,477 primary and middle school contractual teachers recruited by the Bihar government took the mandatory “competency test”, which is based on the syllabi of classes 3-5. Of these, 10,614 teachers, or about 24 per cent, failed the test.

The state government has recruited over 2.5 lakh contractual teachers since it launched its mega drive to fill the vacancies in 2007. These teachers get two chances to clear the “competency test” in the course of their service. The test has objective questions in English, Mathematics, Science, Hindi and General Knowledge, with no negative marking.

The pass marks is 45 per cent for teachers belonging to general category and 40 per cent for the rest. If a teacher fails the test in both attempts, he loses his job.

While middle school teachers must be graduates, primary school teachers must have passed their Class 12 exam.

“We have been conducting competency tests since 2009… Most questions are taken from classes 3, 4 and 5, only a few questions are of matriculation level,” said State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) director Hasan Waris, adding that the question paper models were duly advertised.

Asked about the number of teachers who have failed the test twice, Waris said: “We are still working out the number”.

Principal Secretary, HRD, Amarjeet Sinha said, “We have initiated teachers’ and schools’ reports to ensure quality of education. The competency test is a way to ensure the teachers’ level of knowledge,” said Sinha.

A teacher, who cleared the competency test in 2010, said standard questions are asked — like which planet is closest to the sun, what metal is the filament of an electric bulb made of. That year, 8 per cent of the teachers failed the test.

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