A State Affair:Primary Education in Bihar-II

The public priority seems to be shifting grounds. People don’t care about better schools in their neighborhood, timely and competent medical facility within their reach. Other factors take centre stage like a job or a two for their family members. In this way needs and priority keeps changing.

The leniency in selection process of teachers especially those at primary school levels are supposed to have a long term impact. There is no use stressing the fact that the quality of education you receive at elementary level goes a long way in shaping the very thought process and approach one is likely to take during the future course of education.

Effective teaching is as much dependent on quality of teachers and knowledge imparting methodology adopted as on student to teacher ratio even at primary schools level. New recruitment may have solved the problem of higher student to teacher ratio but the quality of teaching being imparted has to be verified into. Mere physical presence of teachers can’t guarantee a turnaround for the state run primary schools which existed for decades just for namesake.

What department of education has succeeded in doing is keeping the number of out of schools children low and when we compare this with previous decade, the effort made deserves appreciation. As per ASER report of 2010, the overall percentage of out of school students decreased to 4.42% in 2010 compared to 7.38 % in 2007. Again, school enrollment and attendance are two different things. There is a need to find out what percentage of students enrolled in government schools in Bihar are in fact attending the schools.  The same report points out that a mere 46.15% of students were able to read  a simple story in government schools whereas one third of the enrolled students in the age range 11-13 years were not able to read the same story. Now picture, in normal cases students in this age group should be anywhere in Vth standard and above and when these students and tells a lot about the prevailing standard of education.

Apart from that school infrastructure needs a lot of consideration and investment. Most of schools being run have no or inadequate building yet a part of funds embarked for primary education goes underutilized.  A large fraction of schools even doesn’t have blackboards. The NDA government sailed easily gathering accolades and appreciation for its effort taken for education system and it started well when it started with primary education. But, to produce tangible changes in second term at office, it needs a vision for up gradation of quality of delivery at the other end and a policy reform to match the level of growing expectation.


About Barun Jha

Infrastructure Professional, Introvert,Writer, Wonderer, Wanderer
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