While the realms of examinations used to be limited just to students, it is 21st century and the era is all about breaking notions and stereotypes. In a bid to develop quality learning, Gujarat Government has ordered annual examinations for all government school teachers at the school; and that is how, examination pressure will no longer be just a student thing, it will be for teachers too.

For the first time in India, the Gujarat government has decided that from this year onward it will not just be the students of government schools who will be appearing for annual examinations but their teachers as well. The aim of this bold move by the government is in direction of improving the quality of education provided by the government school teachers. The state believes this examination will help in assessing the academic level of teachers along with their strengths and weaknesses and enable raising the standards of around two lakh teachers in 36,000-odd government schools thriving in the state. However, since the examination is meant just for evaluation, there would be no minimum grades and it will be conducted only for the teachers of government schools.

The decision was made after a lot of discussion and brainstorming by a high-level committee of the state education department, and finally it was decided to introduce ‘Shikshak Sajjata Kasoti’ (Teacher Preparedness Test) as a part of governmental measures to assess and improve teachers’ social skills, understanding of the subject that he/she teaches and pedagogy. With Gujarat being the first state to conduct such a test, it is likely to be conducted for the first time in August-September 2018. The design of the examination, which will be of 150 marks encompassing different subjects taught in school, has been prepared by Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT).

The main weakness in the state is the poor understanding of students in languages subjects like Gujarati and English as well as difficulties in important subjects like science and mathematics. After this test, the teachers will face a real challenge to update their knowledge and skills as per the NCERT syllabus from the upcoming academic sessions. Meanwhile, the state education department officials are hoping that the test would help in finding the weak areas in studies and thereby enable to improve the performance of the students. However, the implementation of this important decision on part of the education department of Gujarat is certainly worth appreciation and applause.

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