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Bihar schools lag in implementing Right To Education (RTE)

Bihar schools lag in implementing RTE
With an average of 82 students per classroom and one teacher for 57 students in schools in Bihar, there is an urgent need to strengthen the implementation of Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act here.

As per the findings of a study commissioned by State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and UNICEF, based on a sample study of 375 schools across 38 districts of the state, Bihar lagged on different counts of infrastructure and basic facilities like kitchen shed, library, playground, sanitation, free text books and potable water facilities.

The study report released by state Education Minister P K Shahi, was aimed at gauging implementation of "Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009" in the state to identify areas to strengthen execution of the Act.

As per the report, the average student classroom ratio (SCR) across schools in Bihar was found to be 82 indicating a significant load of students per classroom, which is 30 at national level.

Similarly, the average Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) was found to be 57, higher than the RTE (right to education) and all India count of 30 as per official statistics for 2011-12, the report said.

Shahi said due to sustained efforts in the last two years, improvement has been brought in the field of education but still a lot needed to be done. He said to manage the teacher-pupil ratio, the state government would be recruiting more teachers soon.

The study also found that proportion of trained teachers The study also found that proportion of trained teachers is relatively small.

Besides, about 1.64 per cent teachers were found having one or more disabilities, while teachers in schools were found engaged in a number of non-teaching activities.

Among the filled up posts of teachers, female teachers occupy 49 per cent of regular teaching posts, while teachers from SC and minority background fill up about 16 per cent and 15 per cent posts respectively.

The OBC teachers fill up close to 45 per cent teaching posts while the proportion of teachers from ST background was 1.14 per cent, according to the report.

The UNICEF supported report highlighted that uptake of mid-day meals was found to the tune of 63 per cent in primary classes and 39 per cent in upper primary classes.

Nearly 72 per cent and 73 per cent students across the sample schools access free textbooks and uniform respectively.

Nearly 36 per cent in the sample schools have benefited from free health checkups while nearly 81 per cent students had access to scholarship. As ways forward, the study suggested substantial investment in training of teachers besides increasing the number of teachers.

Amarjeet Sinha, Principal Secretary, Education, said there are 73,000 primary schools in the state out of which 7,000 do not have its own building. Such schools have been tagged with nearest school having such facility.

Sinha said the process for recruitment of teachers was on and exuded confidence that by November the state would be able to achieve the ratio of one teacher for 40 students as compared to 57 at present.

Drawing attention towards midday meal, Sinha said while in 2011 only 52 per cent of the schools had facility for free meal to students it has risen to 96 per cent at present.

Secretary Education department Rahul Singh expressed confidence that by 2018 the state would achieve much on infrastructural issues like wall, kitchen, toilet and drinking water facilities in schools.

PTI

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