Bihar govt schools faltering on multiple fronts, at risk of mass displacement by pvt coaching centres: Survey
A survey conducted in Bihar by Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan highlighted the ‘abysmal’ condition of the government schools. It advocated for measures like compliance with the Right to Education Act, providing eggs every day with the midday meal and a ban on tuition centres during school hours.
गाँव कनेक्शन 4 Aug 2023 1:00 PM GMT
A survey report published today, on August 4, mentioned that the government-run schools in Bihar are in an abysmal condition and none of the schools meet the norms of the Right to Education Act.
The report titled ‘Where are the Kids?’ is based on a survey of 81 government primary and upper-primary schools in Katihar and Araria districts of Bihar, conducted in January-February 2023 by Jan Jagran Shakti Sanghathan (JJSS) which is a trade union of unorganised sector workers.
The report highlighted that students’ attendance in primary and upper-primary schools is barely 20 per cent.
“There are acute teacher shortages, with only 35% of primary schools and 5% upper-primary schools meeting RtE [Right to Education] norms on pupil-teacher ratio (one teacher per 30 children). Further, only 58% of the appointed teachers were found on duty at the time of the survey. The dismal condition of government schools has led to a heavy reliance on private tuitions,” the report stated.
It added that the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme for textbooks and uniforms forces ‘a cruel choice on poor families as buying textbooks/uniforms or basic necessities’.
“The result is not hard to guess: many children have no textbooks or uniforms. Almost all teachers are opposed to the DBT system for textbooks,” it stated.
The survey report underlined that the schooling system suffered a heavy blow during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
“A majority of teachers feel that “most” children in Classes 1-5 had forgotten how to read and write by the time schools reopened last year. No serious measures have been taken to help these students,” it argued.
“Government schools in Bihar are in danger of being displaced by cheap and dingy tuition centres – an unhealthy environment for children. Urgent action is required to address this crisis. Compliance with the RtE Act, providing eggs every day with the midday meal and a ban on tuitions during school hours would be a good start,” it added.