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Overhaul of secondary education on cards in Bihar, says Choudhary

cities Updated: Jun 03, 2017 12:53 IST

PATNA Following the unprecedented fall in the pass percentage of students, which exposed the ground reality in education, the secondary and higher secondary education in Bihar may be in for a total overhaul. 

Following the intervention of chief minister Nitish Kumar, the education department has got down to the job of preparing a detailed roadmap, which would also mull the possibility of government taking over the crucial secondary and higher secondary education. Since 2006, these schools have been under district boards and municipal corporation. 

The government is concerned as the direct impact of poor performance at the secondary level would be on higher education intake and the government’s quest for taking the gross enrolment ratio (GER) from the present 13% to 30%. 

However, the government is of the opinion that there should not by any compromise with the sanctity of the examination system, but at the same time, all efforts should be made to ensure that the learning outcome of the students, which has been recording consistent fall even in Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER), improves. 

Education minister Ashok Choudhary on Thursday said a meeting has been called with headmasters and teachers to get a realistic feedback on the reasons behind the poor performance of students and then try to bridge the gap by immediately addressing the key issues, viz. shortage of teachers in key subjects, poor condition of laboratories and involvement of teachers in academic work only. 

What has come as a shock for the government is that the questions in this year’s intermediate exams were much easier, compared to the usual standard at the plus two level. Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) chairman Anand Kishor admitted this, saying it had been deliberately done in view of tight conduct of exams. 

“It was below standard, to say the least. At the intermediate level the syllabus is vast and requires vigorous education,” said Patna University’s Prof K C Sinha, whose books in mathematics are quite popular among plus two students. 

A senior official said that the marks in practical, which is given by schools, was the big saving grace, else the pass percentage would have dropped further. ‘In theory, students have got 5 or 10, but in practicals they have got full marks. How can a student perform practical if he does not know theory,” he added. 

The minister said that all issues would be factored in before preparing a blueprint for systemic change. “As the chief minister said, we have to convert this challenge into an opportunity for improvement. We will ensure regular monitoring and assessment from junior level so that the students go into examination hall with confidence, as mere certificates will not help them,” he added. 

 

 Practical marks under scanner

With questions being raised over the Bihar board topper in arts stream, Ganesh Kumar, and reports of high marking in practical papers even to failed students, Bihar school examination board (BSEB) plans to work out a new mechanism to check this practice. 

Board chairman Anand Kishore said for practical exams, the schools, especially the private ones, there have been reports of arbitrary marking. “The schools will not be allowed to dole out marks without knowledge,” he added. 

He said the board would start accepting applications for scrutiny from Saturday at all its regional centres. “The students can apply after paying the fee and the board would examine it on a priority basis,” he added.

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Education minister Ashok Choudhary on Thursday said a meeting has been called with headmasters and teachers to get a realistic feedback on the reasons behind the poor performance of students and then try to bridge the gap by immediately addressing the key issues, viz. shortage of teachers in key subjects, poor condition of laboratories and involvement of teachers in academic work only 

Strap: Education minister talks of systemic changes, Board chairman says mechanism to check arbitrary practical marking from next year