Nalanda project to raise learning outcome in Bihar schools
If successful on quantifiable parameters, this pilot project will be extended to schools in other districts of the state.patna Updated: Feb 19, 2017 18:04 IST
The Bihar government is now working on a pilot project purporting to improve the modest learning outcome of school children in the state on quantifiable parameters.
The pilot project will be launched in the first week of March in 625 habitations of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s native Nalanda district in south central Bihar. The focus will be on children of dalit/mahadalit and and religious minority communities, who continue to be at the bottom of the ladder in terms of learning outcome.
An initiative of the directorate of mass education, the project envisages involving both parents and children to fashion a sustainable model christened ‘Koi bachcha peeche nahin, mata-pita bhi chhute nahin (No child is laggard and mother-father are also not left behind).
The 2016 annual status education report (ASER) report has once again underlined how Bihar frittered away its traditional superiority in mathematics. While it was way ahead of national average in 2007, it has now got closer to it even in high schools.
Percentage of class 3 children who are able to do subtraction
Source: Department of education, Govt of Bihar
The national average has also showed a steady fall, though some states have shown a marked improvement of late.
Though Bihar has been able to achieve nearly 99% enrolment in schools due to targeted government interventions, drop out rate, poor learning outcome and regular attendance remain a big challenge
“The objective is to ensure improvement in learning outcome of children and also involve parents in the process. We have got a baseline study done in the habitations through NGO Pratham, UNICEF and the department of education. After four months another study will be done to assess the improvement. If it is in the range of 60-70%, the model may be replicated in other parts of the state,” said director, mass education, Binodanand Jha.
On Tuesday, a residential training programme for the trainers, comprising volunteers of Pratham, Shaakshar Bharat and Akshar Anchal, concluded at Noorsarai (Nalanda). Now, all the trainers will be sent to schools for actual teaching in schools spread across 20 blocks of Nalanda.
As the project is rolled out, around 20,000 ‘tola sevaks’ and 10,000 Talimi Markaz volunteers will be used for quality movement in schools and the outcome would be assessed periodically.
Though Bihar has been able to achieve nearly 99% enrolment in schools due to targeted interventions of the government, drop out rate, poor learning outcome and regular attendance remain a big challenge. The chief minister expressed his concern over poor attendance in schools despite huge state investment and incentives, recently.
“The challenge is to improve learning outcome, which means class-commensurate learning in key spheres like reading, writing and mathematics, through specifically designed modules. Besides, there will be regular sessions for mental ability and comprehension. What the statistics suggest is that it has fallen alarmingly since 2007, with children from the deprived sections being the worst sufferers,” he added.
During day time, mother and father of the children will be engaged in literacy programmes, which would also double up to drive home the importance of education of their wards to make it a sustained effort.