Ensure 75% attendance in schools: Bihar govt asks teachers
Bihar’s education department has asked its officials to ensure there is a minimum attendance mandate in schools and entrusted the responsibility to the head masters and teachers to ensure it
Poor attendance in schools has always remained an issue in Bihar but the authorities have finally decided to crack the whip on the same.
Bihar’s education department has asked its officials to ensure there is a minimum of 75% attendance in schools and entrusted the responsibility to the head masters and teachers to ensure it by personally contacting parents/guardians of the wards.
This comes in wake of surprise inspections in schools where some had less than 40% attendance.
Additional chief secretary (education) Dipak Kumar Singh has written to all the district education officers (DEOs) to make use of the Bihar Easy School Tracking (BEST) App to do a daily review of the primary, secondary and higher secondary schools from block to district level on a real time basis, according to the prescribed mandate to officers down to the block level every Wednesday and Thursday.
The review can also be done on other days and every district has to prepare an integrated report.
“If a school is found to have not opened on time and closed before time, the head master will be held accountable and face appropriate action from the competent authority. If any school records less than 60% attendance, the concerned head masters and teachers will be required to personally contact the guardians of the absent wards to ensure their attendance. They can also seek the assistance of the school management committee in this regard,” wrote Singh.
Not only the students, even the teachers have been warned. Strict action will be taken against those found missing from duty during inspection. Singh, however added the instances of unauthorised absence of teachers has reduced.
“However, if any teacher is found absent without prior information, the concerned head masters will be required to mark them absent in presence of inspecting officials and stop a day’s salary. The absent head master/teacher will also be served show cause notice and if the reply is not found satisfactory, salary deduction for the day will be recommended,” Singh wrote in the order.
Singh added that the main motive behind such a move is to ensure teachers continue to do their work responsibly.
“The government is very serious about attendance of students which averages around 50%-60%, with some schools doing much better and others recording less than the average. Head masters and teachers have been working in this direction earlier too. Their prodding will certainly give a big push to attendance in schools and therefore, they should take personal initiative by involving parents,” he said.
A senior teacher of a government school said the poor attendance in schools could be attributed to a number of factors.
“Even secondary and higher secondary schools have poor attendance, as the schools lack proper lab facilities and all the subject teachers. They prefer going to nearby coaching institutes, which have mushroomed due to growing consciousness about education and provide methodical teaching. Quality of teaching does not matter much to them. They want integrated support system, which the schools are not equipped to provide. There is no fault of students, as the girls can also be seen cycling to private institutes in groups with the break of dawn, as they want to study. The education system is failing them,” he added.
The department had also mooted a plan for regular inspection of colleges too by officials of the education department, state higher education council (SHEC) and the universities to sort out vexed issues and revive the academic atmosphere.