CBSE Psychometric Test - Perspective & Solution
In the light of the unfortunate incident in Gurgaon on Sept 8th this year, all CBSE schools have been mandated to conduct psychometric tests for their teachers, administrative and ancillary staff. For the ancillary staff especially, these have to be done in a detailed manner. A circular (CIRCULAR NO. 19 /2017 ) was issued by the board on 12/9/2017 which specified the following with regard to psychometric evaluation. “They must get the police verification and psychometric evaluation done for all the staff employed. Such verification and evaluation for non-teaching staff such as, bus drivers, conductors, peon and other support staff may be done very carefully and in a detailed manner.”
Following the circular, there is some confusion in CBSE schools both in India and abroad (Dubai, UAE etc.), with principals and school management unclear on the parameters on which this psychometric evaluation is to be carried out. Issues have been raised on their effectiveness to prevent such incidents in future, feasibility of execution in short timeframes, high costs of commercially available personality tests (like PF16/ MMPI), lack of norms for India, and administration of such tests (literacy levels of ancillary and support staff, time taken in conducting paper and pencil tests). Further, school managements are worried about the morale of the staff being impacted and the privacy of data collected. Significant confusion also prevails regarding the signing off authority and accreditations, with some pointing to IACP or RCI clinical psychologists as the sole signing authorities, while counselling psychologists and vocational/rehabilitation counsellors feel that they are more suited to the role. When checked with principals and school management across India, the common refrain seems to be that more clarity is expected from the board for schools to comply with this request.
We at Tucareers are a research led organization working in the field of psychometric testing of students and professionals, using analytics to help them reach right career decisions. Since we work with psychologists, rehabilitational counsellors and are a technology based platform, we have multi disciplinary insights that address some issues identified above. The need, as we see it, is to identfy a broad framework that can help implement the urgent need for evaluation of staff and making our schools safer. There is undisputed evidence in research that psychometric tools can be invaluable in identifying maladjustment behaviour. The core of the issue is identifying people who may have a propensity of criminal intent or may be going through stress and anxiety related disorders, thereby making children unsafe with them. Personality tests like the NEO-PI-R, PF16 and also some other maladjustment inventories exist that can be used to profile for emotional health and stability, as well as check for fitment in current roles. Other personality and maladjustment tests like the one from Eysenck and Mathews can be used to predict criminal behaviour and identify psychological issues. Advanced projective techniques like Inkblot also can be used with individuals for detailed investigations. Anamika Srivastava (Clinical Psychologist), Research Officer at KGMU, Lucknow and Counsellor at IIM Lucknow and a consultant with Tucareers, asserts that "a Pandora box of techniques and a graded/multiphasic approach need to be used in administering psychometric, semi- and projective tools while assessing the teachers and other ancillary staff of Schools/Colleges. Psychological tools in the hands of a trained professional, used skillfully, with clinical acumen are known to decrease discomfort and embarrassment during the assessment process”.
A lot of work has been done on bringing Personality tests in the open source domain. The IPIP ( ipip.ori.org) project in particular provides references to scales that are validated and normed with large international samples and can be used to provide free alternatives to costly commercially available tests. Dr Pradeep Khatri head of department for Psychology at National PG College, Lucknow another expert panelist on the Tucareers team agrees that "free and open sourced validated scales now exist and could be good alternatives to more costly commercially available tests". Dr Kumud Srivastava a counsellor with CBSE and National Career Services and a mentor at Tucareers opines that "school counsellors can also be trained to administer these tests at schools in a short timeframe".
We strongly feel that there is enough evidence in research to suggest that psychosis and maladjustment is also linked with lack of job fitment, thus use of psychometric tests is essential at the selection of staff to make this sustainaible and effective in the long run. Mohit Bhatnagar, Founder at Tucareers and a researcher in the career decision area points out that "output of the psychometric tests can be used for career planning and skill building and thus can be looked at positively by staff". He further opines that "the schools should capture and manage this data digitally as it can be useful to provide an audit trail and also build predictive analytical models that can identify potential cases for help and counselling in the future".
We have implemented our solution keeping in mind the need for economy, diversified literacy levels, mass reach and comprehensiveness required. We look forward to the expected CBSE mandate for further fine tuning.
For more details for conducting CBSE Psychometric Tests for teachers and ancillary staff do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tucareers platform is also available as a white label, cloud based solution for independent counsellors, school chains and organizations looking to address this need across CBSE schools in India and abroad.