March 2018
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Tags: , , , | Category: Community development, Education, General, Social Problem

Bihar teachers’ pay to be linked to student attendance

A news article in Bihar Times with my comments

Bihar teachers’ pay to be linked to student attendance

Patna, Aug 21 : Salaries of teachers of government schools in Bihar will not be paid if they failed to ensure at least 75 percent attendance of their students, officials said Friday.

Concerned over low attendance in government schools across the state, the Nitish Kumar government is planning to issue a circular to principals of the schools to ensure at least 75 percent attendance.

“The salaries of teachers would be held back if attendance in the school is below 75 percent,” Ajit Kumar, an official of the education department, said.

Additional Commissioner, Human Resource Development department, K.K. Pathak said the government was serious about ensuring a higher percentage of attendance in schools and principals had been asked to ensure at least 75 percent attendance.

Pathak said the responsibility of maintaining attendance would be on teachers and they could face action if the percentage dipped below 75 percent.

Last month the government had offered Rs. 1 per day to poor children to encourage them to attend school and raise literacy levels, officials said.

Bihar’s literacy rate is currently just 47 percent against the national average of 64.84 percent, as per the 2001 census.

Officials admitted that attendance in schools was less than 60 percent.

My Comments

This is a very honest try from Bihar Government to improve the pathetic education system of Bihar.
Question we always need to ask why government school are not working? Is there some structural or systematic problem in the implementation?
Let me give you an example of an school in Pojh Village of Nalanda District. The government school in pojh is upper middle level school serving 3-4 villages around.
The school is one of the first school in that area and once served as main primary school of that area serving about 150-200 children some 15-20 years ago.
There were 4-5 teachers working in that school and living in the same village. They also use to give evening classes which was useful as most of the farming families are unable to work with their children in the evening.
Later this school was promoted to middle school and there is plan to upgrade it till high school (there is no high school in 15-20 villages around comprising 3-4 panchayats and a population of 15,000-20,000.
Today Pojh school is middle school with two teachers and about 3-4 children. However, in school register they have more than 200 children.
So where those children are going to attend school?
There is an laternative school in Pojh started and managed by an NGO Prabhat ( registered in Spain and India.
There are about 150 children attending this alternative school and about 5 teachers taking care of children.
The government school is still maintaining the register and marking 90-100% attendance everyday. They are getting full supply of midday meal material, free books for the children. No one is asking them where those things are going. I will not blame those two teachers, one of them always absent on pertext of meetings or paper work in office. Block or district level education officials must be knowing this stituation, and if they are not acting so it must be whole system involve in this systematic corruption. I am wondering how Bihar government is going to stop this. On paper Pojh School is one of successful school in Nalanda district.

Alternative school of Pojh is charging Rs 30 per month from each children. This money is not enough for running the school but this gives a sense of ownership to the community. It also put a psychological pressure on children that their parents are paying and they have to attend this school.
School has asked some of the best teachers in that area to give classes. Those teachers are very successful and were engange in private tution. They also applied to adhock teachers position in government school but their luck or money run out…

Now if you compare schools with some independent schools you will find it very strange. The government schools with free food and bonus (Rs 1 per day) is not working but a alternative/independent schools charging fees are very successful.
There is some problem in whole system which need to be investigated properly and government need to think on alternative mechanism…


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