Bihar puts its schools, teachers, students to test


After free bicycles and uniforms, scholarships and a grant of 20 per cent of its annual budget, the Bihar government has opened a new chapter in its education drive in the state. Bihar is introducing report cards for teachers and schools, in additional to that for students, in government schools starting from the 2013 academic year.

Landmarks have been identified for learning to judge students while teachers would be rated on everything from punctuality to their reading habits. A school will be graded A, B, C and D on a scale of 150 marks and will be judged on some 70 parameters, from its infrastructure and management to its community participation and academic achievements.

The state has 2.7 crore students in Classes I to XII in its 74,000 government schools, that engage over 5.5 lakh teachers. Government schools normally do not issue report cards to their students but just a result sheet. "In the first phase, we have sent printed report cards to schools for students from Class I to V. Teachers, with help from parents, will assess students based on their performance in each subject in all three sessions (of four months each) of the calendar year," said HRD Principal Secretary Amarjit Sinha.

Students' report cards, designed on the basis of syllabus, will have 12 learning landmarks each for Hindi, English, Mathematics and Environmental Studies.

Teachers, too, will be under watch simultaneously, Sinha added, pointing out that the government has been working with the Azim Premji University, Bangalore, to train teachers and select education officers. A teacher will be judged on a scale of 120 marks on 35 parameters, including punctuality, interactive skills, participative learning and the newspapers, magazines and books he has read in each session.

The report card has to be filled in by both teachers and school principals. "The idea is to bring in alertness and proficiency in teachers. Though a teacher's grade on a report card will have no bearing on his increment and annual appraisal, we may bring in punitive measures in case of teachers consistently not meeting desired standards," said Sinha, adding that teachers will get report cards to fill in by March this year.

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