9% in Classes 6, 8 unable to recognise English alphabetpunjab Updated: Dec 31, 2017 12:20 IST
The baseline test was conducted in four subjects — English, mathematics, science and social studies. The test, conducted by district mentors, was attempted by 61,000 students. (HT File)
The baseline test for Classes 6 to 8 in 532 government schools of the district, under ‘Parho Punjab, Parhao Punjab’, has revealed that 9% students have failed recognise and write the English alphabet. The test for mathematics also came up with alarming results with students unable to make basic calculations.
This is largely due to a shortage of qualified English and mathematics teachers even as government schools battle other challenges such as lack of proper infrastructure, anomalies in the midday meals and fund distribution.
The baseline test was conducted in four subjects — English, mathematics, science and social studies. The test, conducted by district mentors, was attempted by 61,000 students, of which 5,490 were unable to read the alphabet.
In English, students were tested on five levels including beginning, letter word, sentence and story. The letter word test revealed that 25% students were unable to read.
A government school teacher said, “Students of Classes 6 to 8 are tested under this project. However, students of Classes 7 and 8 could not even clear the baseline test for Class 6 in English and mathematics. It is not surprising as the ‘no detention’ policy up to Class 8 make students casual in their approach towards learning; they know they will not fail. The government must make an amendment in the RTE (Right to Education) Act; otherwise, this will further affect the results of Classes 9 and 10.”
NUMBERS NOT EASY TOO
In mathematics, 33,614 students could not subtract 3 by 3 number operation, accounting for 57.3% of those who took the test. For the word problem for the same subtraction, 60.8% students (35,371) could not make the cut. A total of 43,578 students (74.8%) could not divide 3 by 1 word problem, while 18% (10,473 students) could not attempt the fraction problem. About 56.7% (33,032) students of Classes 6 to 8 could not plot integers on the number line.
Sanjeev Kumar Taneja, district mentor of mathematics, said, “There is a need to provide mathematics teachers in Classes 1 to 8. If the government can provide specialised teachers for science, mathematics and English, then we can expect better results. Students are not clear about various concepts.”
However, around 50% students were able to make observations and understand the vocabulary of the six themes used for the baseline test in science.
Subhodh Kumar Verma, district mentor of English and social studies, said, “The main objective of this baseline test was to read and understand words. Students who are at the beginning in the letter level are doing the foundation course that ends on January 22. Teachers are clearing concepts with activity-based teaching and we are hopeful of positive results. All teachers and mentors are making an effort to improve results in the next baseline test.”
WHY THE POOR RESULTS
‘No fail’ policy up to Class 8: Under the RTE Act, no student can be detained up to Class 8
Staff shortage in government schools: In Ludhiana, 67 government primary and middle schools have just one instructor who teaches all the subjects to students of Classes 1 to 8.
Students of migrants: The population of migrant students in government schools is large and they are unable to attend school regularly
Additional duties for teachers: Teachers are mainly deputed for household surveys, block level officer and other duties due to which they are not unable to take classes.