Teacher's Certificate Exam

Teacher's Certificate Exam

As Azerbaijan prepares for the upcoming teacher certification exams on June 21, 22, and 24, concerns over the examination process and its broader implications for the educational system persist. Certification, which began in 2021, is mandatory for teachers and consists of a two-stage process: a test and an interview. Despite the promise of salary increases of 10-35 percent for successful candidates, the certification process has been fraught with controversy and protest.

Last year, 743 teachers failed to pass re-certification, leading to protests outside the Cabinet of Ministers in Baku. Many teachers cited unfair examination conditions, with some unable to participate due to legitimate reasons and others expressing dissatisfaction with the exam content. One teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, shared his concerns with Azadliqradios: "The time limit worries many teachers. Two hours is very little, especially for subjects like math. The interview method for the logic exam introduces a human factor that complicates fairness."

In a statement to local media, Science and Education Minister Emin Amrullayev emphasized the positive impact of certification on teacher salaries. He noted that 80 percent of successful teachers have seen wage increases, with one in five scoring above 50 points, three scoring between 30 and 50 points, and one failing to pass. "We do not terminate employment contracts out of pride. This decision affects social lives, but it is necessary for the future development of our country," Amrullayev said. He added that teachers who fail certification can still contribute as social educators.

The State Agency for Preschool and General Education reported to Turan  that over 31,000 teachers have received salary increases based on exam results, with 8,000 receiving a 35 percent raise and 23,000 receiving a 10 percent raise. This year, more than 30,000 educators will undergo certification, aimed at promoting successful practices and improving teachers' social situations.

However, education expert Farid Imanov argues that certification exams are not the solution to Azerbaijan's educational challenges. "Fundamental problems in our education system should not be blamed on teachers. Their impact on these systemic issues is minimal. Systematic changes need to be made first," Imanov said. He expressed concerns that the failure of some teachers to pass certification leaves students without educators, particularly in rural areas.

Imanov believes that certification alone cannot enhance education quality. "For quality education, we must address the fundamental problems in the system. Certification of teachers is not sufficient," he stated.

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