Most Bihar teachers can’t do their math
Only 40 per cent of teachers in primary schools run by the Bihar government were able to make error-free summaries of a passage given to them. In math, only 25 per cent of the teachers could solve a Standard III-level simple computation sum correctly, while a whopping 63 per cent either just did not attempt it or got it all wrong.
When asked to explain a simple math problem, only 24 per cent of them were able to do so correctly. However, despite getting the answer right, only 66 per cent of them could actually write down the steps involved in solving the sum systematically while the rest fumbled.
In terms of students’ attendance, Bihar lags far behind neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. While in Bihar, enrolled students attend schools for 40 per cent school days only, it is 55 per cent in UP.
These are the preliminary findings of a study on Teacher Effectiveness and Learning Level of Students (TEELS) undertaken by Geeta Kingdon of the Institute of Education, London University, in 160 schools in 10 districts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. As far as teachers’ effectiveness is concerned, UP seems to be doing better than Bihar.
Kingdon tried to track the children’s learning abilities by visiting selected schools four times between July 2007 and 2008. The appraisal of teachers on different parameters was also done through a test data.
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