Teachers vying for permanent posts now need to take qualifying examsThe new provision will ensure a more competitive teaching force, officials say.
Amid concerns that public school teachers are not performing well, the government has revised the regulation of Teachers Service Commission to have more competitive tests to induct qualified teachers.
The amendment, endorsed by the Cabinet on Wednesday, has made screening tests, similar to that of Public Service Commission, mandatory before candidates are qualified to sit in the final competitive exam.
Teachers vying for permanent position so far didn’t need to take a qualifying test. They only had to sit one test for 100 marks on their related subjects. With the new provision in place, the weightage of the test will carry 200 marks.
“The new provision will ensure more competitive teaching workforce,” Uttam Kapri chief of school education division at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, told the Post.
Out of the total 200 full marks, the screening test will carry 50 marks in the final test.
The amendment to the Teachers Service Commission regulation has also reduced the marks for the experience to 5 from 12. Earlier, the teachers who had prior experience in the teaching could get up to 12 marks in the interview. The weightage for experience was reduced as a majority of temporary teachers got their jobs without facing any test, mostly due to political connection, said an official at the Ministry.
“We want to attract more fresh minds in our public school system. Reduction of the marks for experience means more freshers will get permanent position,” an aide to Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel told the Post.
Under the political pressure, a majority of 22,076 permanent positions for the three levels—primary, lower-secondary and secondary—were allocated for temporary teachers, in the test held last year.
Though the government data shows over 96 percent of public school teachers are trained, the learning achievement of the students is decreasing every year. Different reports by the Education Review Office, under the Education Ministry, suggest the students from different grades grasp less than 50 percent of their curriculum.
Educationists say the government move will help more competitive people to enter the teaching profession. Besides making the test more competitive, they have also suggested that the government standardise the questions and interview pattern.
“Our tests only measure the candidate’s knowledge, which alone is not sufficient for him or her to join the teaching profession. There should also be a provision for attitude and aptitude tests,” Binay Kusiyait, a professor at Tribhuvan University, who has conducted several researches in school education, told the Post.