Bihar puts its schools, teachers, students to test

National
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.

In their report cards, schools will have to detail every service they provide and what they don't. They will also have to put in their student-teacher and teacher-classrooms ratios, as well as how many times parent-teacher associations, school committees, eco and science clubs met in a year and how many times school inspectors visited them. A school will also have to put in the number of classrooms in use, if there are separate toilets for boys and girls, and if these toilets are functional.

The report cards will be monitored by over 6,000 cluster resource centre coordinators visiting these schools.

Under watch

2.7 crore students, over 5.5 lakh teachers, 74,000 government schools

STUDENTS

12 learning landmarks each for

Hindi, English, Mathematics and Environmental Studies.

No adverse comments but teachers to rate students using stars — three for excellent, two for satisfactory and one for "needs improvement".

Class I student expected to read sentences with three-four words and to be able to spell two-letter words towards session end. In Hindi, should be able to read and recognise simple words. In Math, should be able to write up to 100 and recognise triangle, circle and rectangle shapes.

Class V student expected to use grammar, tell meaning of a poem and write four-five sentences after a lecture on any topic in English and Hindi. In Math, a student of this grade should be able to add and subtract numbers above 10,000, know tables till 20 and do addition and subtraction using fractions.

TEACHERS

A teacher to be judged on a scale of 120 marks on 35 parameters.

Must mention their special quality, whether they allow students to express themselves freely, whether they "always" or "occasionally" prepare for daily teaching and use library for study or just for reference.

Must specify the number of books read in a session.

Must mention how they frame questions and judge students — just telling them to do the exercise in the book or by allowing them to come up with some queries.

Teachers also asked about what they do when they don't know the answer to a question asked by a student. "Do you ask them you will reply in the next class, or help students find the answer, or leave it to the students to find answers?"

SCHOOLS

To be graded A, B, C and D on a scale of 150 marks and on some 70 parameters.

Have to detail services they provide and what they don't.

Have to put in their student-teacher and teacher-classrooms ratios, as well as how many times parent-teacher associations, school committees, eco and science clubs met in a year.

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