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Hindi Language Competency of KGBV Students in Bihar

Chandra B P Singh

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Hindi language, Knowledge, Skill, Application, Learning, Teachers

PUBLISHED DATE November 2017
PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at

The study identified reasons for poor performance (about 40%) in Hindi language of class VI students in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) of Bihar and also noticed loss in transition (about 6 to 24 %) at the upper primary level despite residential facilities being provided to them. There existed acute shortage of teachers (46%) as well as wardens (46%) in KGBV, resulting in poor management of residential facilities. Additionally, non-availability of language teacher for teaching Hindi and their limited understanding of pedagogical processes left the teaching-learning transaction unattended. Their insufficient training to language at the time of induction showed a gap in inputs concerning what the students desired and what the teachers had. In some KGBVs (e.g. Kishanganj) there existed minimal activities to overcome learning deficiencies in Hindi. They had virtually no idea about how to evaluate students and formulate plan for improving Hindi language. Non-literate mothers had strong desire to educate their daughter (40 per cent achievement in Hindi language). Attitudinal problem of the school teachers and headmasters were prominently observed. They attributed to the KGBV stakeholders for the managerial activities. The study suggested deployment of teachers and their intensive training for improving Hindi language among the students of KGBV.


The study was designed to assess Hindi language competency level of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV) students in Bihar. The basic objective of KGBV is to ensure access and quality education to the girls of disadvantaged groups of society by setting up residential schools at upper primary level. In Bihar 304 wardens (56%) and 891 part time teachers (56%) under KGBV are committed to educating the dropped out students (DOS) and out of school children (OOSC). The learning needs of such children demand greater understanding including sensitivity to their background. Hence, it is essential to work out the methods and study materials to be used for accelerating learning, and also to enable children to reach grade level knowledge and skills. It is also a challenge to teach Hindi language to such girls who either break their study at the primary school level or join the school first time. Addressing the teaching-learning needs of girls in the KGBV is a challenge as well as an opportunity. All KGBV students have had a break in their schooling due to family or other circumstances. Many of the girls have in the past been out of school or have dropped out of the schooling cycle at some stage. Such girls are likely to be lagging behind academically. The entire process of enabling girls to reach class VI needs to be ascertained.

National Evaluation Report of KGBV (NER, 2007) captured some teaching practices in various states. In Karnataka for instance, a zero class was provided to the students till they reached class 6 level. In Gujarat, Model 1 was used to complete the primary cycle of the enrolled girls. In Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand the primers developed for bridge courses were used but the rush to prepare them for early school leaving class (ESLC) was also evident (NCERT, 2008). Andhra Pradesh enabled students by offering bridge courses to enrol in KGBV thereby, doing some amount of preparatory work before they were formally enrolled in class VI. Some states used supplementary materials. At the initial stage Bihar used bridge course for the new-entrants in KGBV. The most worrying outcome was that there was little understanding of the programme in several states (Gogoi and Goswami, 2015; NER, 2013; PEO, 2015). The Programme Evaluation Organisation (PEO, 2015), a wing of NITI AAYOG observed that “the initial momentum that the programme gained was not sustained after 2009”. In many cases, where Model 3 was being followed, the learning related issues were similar to that of the formal school system (NER, 2007). The entry level of learning was not taken as a point of departure or as the baseline for planning their academic growth. There was lack of clarity about “who was eligible for admission in KGBVs” and “how to identify the eligible girls”. It was also observed that no standardised and uniform method was followed for identification of girls for the admission in KGBVs. There was no curriculum, no separate classes (except in Gujarat) and no teachers’ training for this purpose (PEO, 2015). Many states followed their own methods for bridging the academic gap of the out of school children (OOSC) and the dropped out students (DOS) in KGBV. In Gujarat for instance, the number of never enrolled girls was quite high in the Model 3 KGBVs. It was not clear how they were tackling the bridging process for various levels.

It was worth noting that the teaching and learning processes visible in KGBVs was textbook-oriented and in most states it was not very different from the formal schools (NER, 2013). Teachers had little inputs in participatory and activity based teaching practices. In some areas where model 3 was being implemented (with the exception of Karnataka) the children went to the formal school during the day and the part-time teachers of KGBV provided remedial teaching and support before and after school. This practice still continues in Bihar.

The study on KGBV was undertaken because of twin reasons: first, girls studying in class V in Bihar showed low achievement in Hindi language (NAS cycle3, 2012) and second, Bihar did not have benchmark data of Hindi language of class VI for KGBV. Usually, girls outstrip boys in language acquisition because of early cognitive development. In Bihar the scenario is quite different. Girls scored less than their counterparts in Hindi language (NAS cycle3, 2012). National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) conducted national achievement survey (NAS) on class V of the government schools excluding KGBVs in 2012. Language is a serious issue in Orissa and Jharkhand where the tribal girls continue to face learning difficulties as the textbooks are in the local state language. Even the teachers are young urban women who have limited understanding of pedagogical processes (NER, 2013). In border districts of Bihar where minority or a few tribal communities concentrate, language poses a serious problem in learning of students (BEPC, 2015).

The 2001 Census identifies 27 mother tongues listed under Hindi. More than 20 per cent districts at the national level are linguistically heterogeneous. The National Curriculum Framework (2005) supports the idea of teaching through mother tongue at the primary level and recommends gradual addition to other languages in elementary classes. The language problem poses a moderate to severe learning disadvantage for children who shift to Hindi from regional dialect. Maithili, Angika, Bajika and Maghi are widely spoken in Bihar while Hindi as the medium of instruction is used in the government schools. The National Achievement Survey (NAS) highlights the position of Bihar in the context of language learning in classes 3, 5 and 8. Bihar scored less than 45 per cent as compared to national average (55%) in reading comprehension in class V (NAS cycle 3, 2012, NAS cycle 4, 2015). Both Boys and girls scored lower than the overall average score on all the mental processes. Boys performed better than girls in reading comprehension. Similar cases were recorded in class III (Bihar 53% as compared to national average 64%). Where the medium of instruction is not the mother tongue at the primary school level, it becomes difficult for the girl child to cope with the school instruction. A major challenge being faced by the children of KGBVs in Bihar is that they do not compete with the required level of grade VI. The study primarily focuses on the assessment of achievement in Hindi language and finds out gaps in language competencies.

Page(s) 127-141
ISSN Print : 2320-7655, Online : 2320-8805

The study suggested an instructional manual covering various learning materials in Hindi language based on the problems being faced by teachers in KGBV. Since teachers had no professional competency, a few inputs of pedagogical processes required to be inducted during training. This would help improve basic competencies in Hindi language which in turn facilitates the learning process of class VI. There should be a substantive arrangement of engaging classes in the school by KGBV teachers. Teachers and auxiliary staff need to be appointed at the block level. The child protection demands a security management in KGBV.

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