7 lakh candidates appear in TET exam; minister trashes report of question paper leak

Kolkata: Nearly seven lakh candidates on Sunday appeared in the TET examination to fill up around 11,000 vacancies for primary teacher posts in government-sponsored and aided schools in West Bengal.

Some of the candidates complained of mismanagement in the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) conducted by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) after a gap of five years in 1,460 examination centres across the state amid tight security arrangements.

However, WBBPE President Gautam Pal said that no untoward incident was reported during the exam and the board did not get any official complaint from the candidates.

MS Education Academy

State Education Minister Bratya Basu also denied that there has been any question paper leak in the TET examination as reported in a section of the media.

He alleged that “some people” wanted to disrupt the process to discredit the Mamata Banerjee government by circulating fake question papers on WhatsApp.

The last TET was held in 2017. The 2014 examination results are mired in controversy over alleged irregularities in the recruitment process and the CBI is holding investigations in these on orders of the Calcutta High Court.

This year’s TET also had its share of controversy.

Some candidates who wrote their papers in the Hindu School exam centre in Kolkata alleged that the authorities did not make any arrangement for them to deposit their bags at the entrance and some vital time was wasted as they had to keep the bags at nearby tea stalls against money.

Except for pens and some documents, no other item was allowed inside the exam centres.

At Kalyannagar School in Khardah in North 24-Parganas district, around six candidates reached the venue only around 2 pm, half an hour before the end of the examination.

“Our admit cards showed that the centre was at Bisnupur in South 24-Parganas. After reaching there, we found a notice on the school gate saying the centre is closed and some of us were allotted seats at Kalyannagar in Khardah. Local police helped us in reaching Khardah, but only half an hour was left by then. We were allowed no extra time,” Sampa Sikdar, a candidate, said.

At Tirthapati Institution centre in Kolkata, candidates alleged that the biometric system to record the time of entering was not working properly and voiced their grievances after the exams got over.

West Bengal Primary Trained Teachers Association spokesperson and the BJP teachers cell claimed that the board acted “inhumanly” by not allowing candidates even to carry water bottles inside the centres.

“We will take up this with the board president to ensure that candidates do not face such treatment in the next TET exams,” he added.

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP told reporters at Chuchura on Saturday that the TET process should be held fairly and transparently.

“I have got complaints from many candidates that they have received offers over the phone that they will get the questions before the examination if they are ready to pay a certain amount. I hope the administration will ensure no such malpractices will take place, else there will be little point in holding such exams and it will become a farce,” he added.

Reacting to Adhikari’s charge, the education minister said, “If anyone has got any concrete information, he should share the same with the primary board.”

The state Transport department and the Metro Railway have made arrangements for additional services for ensuring smooth travel of the nearly seven lakh candidates taking the examination.

The TET 2022 is being held five years after the 2017 examination amid heavy security with substantial police presence at 1,460 examination centres across the state, an official said.

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