The OTET exam could be held in the first week of December, 2014. Educationists have expressed serious concerns over the poor performance of candidates in Odisha Teachers' Eligibility Test (OTET), results of which were announced last week. Only 15.68% candidates have managed to pass the test, almost 4% less than last year.
Educationists and academics are worried as the poor result has not only brought to the fore the poor quality of teachers but is also set to worsen the problem of teachers' shortage. The results are very disturbing. The test was introduced to improve the quality of teachers but it will ultimately aggravate the problem of shortage of teachers in the state.
That candidates are not very comfortable with the multiple choice question pattern and some crash course should be provided to help them clear the exam. Notably, the OTET was introduced in 2012 by the government to improve the quality of teaching in schools. OTET certification is compulsory to be considered for teacher's job in primary and upper primary government schools in the state. Candidates, who have passed diploma in education or BEd with 50% marks, are eligible to take the test.
This year, at least 44,881 candidates appeared in paper I, for those wishing to teach in classes I to V, of which only 7,550 cleared the exam. Similarly, 38,343 candidates appeared in paper II, for those interested to teach classes VI-VIII, of whom only 5,542 cleared the exam. The exam was held on August 10 at 199 exam centres across the state.
The board of secondary education, which conducts the OTET, is, however, content with the results. "Poor performance in OTET is not a problem only in our state. In fact, all the states are facing similar issues. I would say things are improving here. In 2012, only 9% candidates had qualified the exam and this year it is 16%. Candidates are becoming aware of the question pattern and with better preparation, the pass percentage will increase in the coming years.
There is an urgent need to improve the quality of teachers in our state. If we have good teachers then only we can produce good students. We should regularly upgrade the curriculum and teaching patterns to ensure a permanent solution to the problem.