Patna On which day does Raksha Bandhan fall? Which planet is closest to the Sun? Which metal is the bulb filament made of?
These are some of the questions — objective ones with four multiple choices without any negative marks, generally set for students below Class V — primary school teachers were asked in a competency test held in February.
The qualifying marks for the 100-mark paper that had questions on simple mathematics, science, English and Hindi is 30.
8,884 teachers — over eight per cent — failed. And if they fail again, they will lose their jobs.
The state HRD department has so far held two competency tests and will remove 174 teachers from service because they twice failed to qualify.
The test is held every six months and a teacher has to clear it just once in his entire career.
A primary school teacher, also known as a panchayat teacher, is selected on the basis of their merit. The government has so far appointed about 2.5 lakh teachers in over 51,000 primary schools in Bihar.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has been sticking to the selection procedure despite criticism, might well have got a shock when the competency test results were announced on Thursday.
Bihar HRD Minister Prashant Kumar Shahi said the 91.94 per cent teachers who passed the test are eligible to get increment and will retire at 60 years.
The unsuccessful 8,884 teachers will be given another chance and if they fail again, they will lose their jobs, he said.
When pointed out that quality of education could get compromised with the present selection process, the minister said: “The government allows only two competency tests for teachers.
Those who cannot clear it in second attempt will be removed”.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) that conducted the examination said 20 teachers were expelled for using unfair means at the examination.
Bihar Education Project special project director Rajesh Bhushan said though SCERT conducts the competency test, his department monitors it. “Over 97 per cent teachers passed the first competency test,” he said.
The Opposition and academicians had long been opposing the teachers’ selection process. The RJD had raised the matter in Assembly several times.
Opposition leader AB Siddiqui said: “We have always been opposing the selection process. Had the government held tests for teachers’ appointments, incompetent people would not have become teachers”.