State of Bihar Primary Education: still a mess


PATNA:  The State of primary education in Bihar is a mess, and the newly published ASER report is not much different than the last one. Infrastructure may have improved, but what is sorely lacking is quality of service and dedication.

State Government run Primary schools in Bihar may have shown a slight improvement in student attendance, but teachers still play hookey, at least according to the latest ASER report.

The low attendance of teachers as well as students in government primary schools are still a matter of concern. The attendance of teachers in primary schools of Bihar has gone down to 78% in 2012. Though students attendance has slightly increased from 50% to 55% in the 2012.


The latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2012 , published by NGO Pratham  has come out with the revelation that despite the hype and fast track innovation, service delivery is a problem.

In its key findings, while the student (age group of 6-14) enrolment in Bihar has seen a rise (96.2%) in the year 2012. An average attendance of teacher in primary school has declined from 85.7% in 2011 and this percentage has fallen to 78.1 percent in 2012.

Bihar education minister P K Shahi had also expressed deep concern over the declining attendance in primary schools of Bihar recently in the recently concluded budgest session of the state legislature. He had admitted that attendance in some schools has come down to 50%.

The minister said in some schools the attendance was less than 50%. Despite huge investment in the education sector, with budgetary allocation being 13% of the total plan outlay, the government has not been able to achieve the target of attendance.

He admitted that progress in the education sector was slow. “We don’t have any magic wand to make improvements overnight. It will take time,” he said in the Bihar Legislative Council during the budget session in March.

Aser associate in Bihar Santosh Kumar said that the enrolment of students in primary schools in 2011 was 97% but in the 2012 it dropped to 96.2%.But the gap of students enrolment and the attendance level is huge in primary schools, admits an expert.

The survey cohort was 1057 primary and upper primary schools (class I-VIII) spread over in 37 districts were covered in 90 days during September to November, 2012. Altogether 1, 110 investigators were engaged for this purpose, said Santosh Kumar.

Maths: At least 50.5% children of first graders cannot recognize numbers from 1-9 . About 43% children of the fourth grade could perform  basic subtraction tasks.  31.4% of fifth graders could perform division.

English: 41%  of third graders  can read three letter words or more. Barely 30.1% children of the fifth grade can read words and 16.3% can read simple sentences. 48.9% children of could read sentences. There is no data on comprehension skills, however.

In 2011,  46.7% children resorted to private tuition. In 2012 this percentage has increased by about two percent. It was seen that of third, fourth and fifth graders who had ‘private tuition’, 53.8% had reading skills of the first grade level. 50% of such children can do subtraction.

Bihar has done in well providing infrastructural facilities like drinking water, toilets, library, kitchen sheds and mid day meal schemes in schools.

The mid-day meal was observed being served in 75% of all Bihar schools visited as against the national average of87.1% in 2012.Bihar is ahead of national average in providing drinking water facilities in schools . In 85.4 % schools were provided drinking water facilities as against the national average of 73%.

The report said that 45.3% schools have library facilities which is above the national average of 43.9%. The report only refers to State Government run schools.

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Posted by on April 10, 2013. Filed under Bihar,Breaking News,EDUCATION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to State of Bihar Primary Education: still a mess

  1. X GOAT

    April 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Maybe we need to “IMPORT” teachers from AMERICA , UK and Ireland …. sure then things will be much better

  2. K-Smartie

    April 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Bihar… eee. kabhi nahi sudhri
    Never will improve
    Because only ghotala and chamchagiri are there.
    Pass without English teachers to teach english to students?

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