In Karnataka’s Hassan district, teachers must face the test

Deputy Commissioner of Hassan wants them to prove they make the grade

It is testing times even for teachers in South Karnataka’s Hassan district. They will have to face a competency examination in mathematics, social science and science in the high schools on July 28.

The decision to test the teachers’ proficiency was taken by the district’s Deputy Commissioner, Rohini Sindhuri, as part of an effort to upgrade the knowledge base of the teaching community. This would improve the Class 10 results in the coming year, she reasoned.

Last year (2016-17) the district stood 31st in the State, registering 69.58% in SSLC results. This year, the district improved its pass percentage to 84.68 and secured the seventh place. But that, to the DC, was not good enough.

“We conducted a couple of meetings with Education Department officers to improve the results. The pass percentage did improve. For the current academic year, our aim is to secure a place among the top three slots,” Ms. Sindhuri said on Saturday. The syllabus for mathematics, social science and science has been upgraded to match the CBSE this year. “Some enthusiastic teachers have already equipped themselves for the new syllabus, downloading texts from the Internet. It is not difficult for the teachers who have taught the subject for many years to take the test. I will be conducting an exam in order to see how far they are equipped to teach the revised syllabus,” she said. Around 820 teachers of government and aided schools have to appear for the exam conducted by the respective block education officers. The DC will set the question papers and lecturers of pre-university colleges will evaluate the papers.

Objective-type questions

“I am thinking of asking 100 objective-type questions in each subject. I hope every teacher passes. Those who secure good marks will get certificates of appreciation and be entrusted with the responsibility to train other teachers,” the officer said. However, those who fail may have to take a supplementary test.

The initiative has not gone down well with all. B.S. Somashekhar, president, Hassan District High School Assistant Teachers Association, said, “We were all recruited after facing highly competitive examinations. In fact, instead of making another attempt to test our qualification, the district administration should have patted us for improving the SSLC pass percentage,” he said. The office-bearers of the association would meet to take a stand on the new initiative.

Ms. Sindhuri has been in the news over the controversy about her transfer. She secured her reappointment as the DC of Hassan after a five-month legal battle, arguing that her transfer was politically motivated.

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