Eight measures proposed to improve education in Bihar

Voluntary Forum for education (RTE Forum, Bihar Chapter – a consortium of CSOs and INGOs, experts and politically influential persons in the field of education came together for a 10th State level education conference to understand the current status of Right to Education (RTE) implementation in Bihar with its achievements, gaps and challenges.

The conference discussed the gaps in a wholesome and holistic manner and concerns related to the school infrastructure, the training and development needs of teachers, role of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centers in pre-school preparedness and child development in comparison to the private schools along with updation of pedagogy involving the SCERT etc.

The agenda of the conference covered the entire academic journey of a child starting from the ICDS, primary schools, middle schools, high and higher secondary schools to University level education.

During the conference, Caritas India was invited to share her experience for the improvement of education in Bihar. Ms. Shalinee Nashcar, Caritas India Officer suggested few necessary measures based on Caritas India education projects, Roshini and Hamari Pathshala from the grass root.

Desegregate data of student population like rat of student drop outs and factors like livelihood induced migration, child marriages, gender discrimination which help the state education department in addressing the educational needs of the migrant population through Alternative Innovative Education centre (AIEs) – a provision under RTE and Bihar Governemnt. The end result is to make all students part of regular formal school.

Pedagogy – Review and enhance teaching methods in both formal regular school and AIE’s centres to make it more interactive incorporate technology meaning. If we compare private schools and rural government schools, the former starts teaching computers as early as class 5 while government schools not necessarily have such provisions. This becomes important since this addresses the concern of self confidence among children from both schools and their overall capacity in terms of employability.

In line with the National Education Policy (input) the component of education must be revisited in the ICDS so as to enable private school like preschool such as nursery, LKG before being enrolled in class 1. Lack of which burdens the child in the later years leading to fall in overall academic performance and low self-esteem.

Embolden teacher’s accountability of teaching against other ad-hoc responsibilities.

Financial monitoring to be inbuilt in the policy as most of the time school infrastructure passed by SMC or Gram Sabhas does not get implemented due to inadequate/misappropriations of funds.

Monitoring mechanism of teachers performance be incorporated in the education policy and it be linked to their annual appraisal process.

Review the ‘No detention clause’ and its implications against overall academic performance of the students

Boost Teacher-Student ratio and recruit subject expert teachers especially for students from class 5 onwards.

Caritas India has been further invited to be part of the Stocktaking meeting at Delhi level in March 2017.