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Educational Development Index of Bihar: Towards Better Tomorrow

Chandra B P Singh

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Elementary Education, U-DISE, EDI, Quality, Achievement

PUBLISHED DATE September 03, 2018
PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2018. This article is published with open access at

The study was designed to compute district wise Educational Development Index of Bihar. At the same time, an attempt was made to assess the trend of improvement in elementary education for the last few years. U-DISE data for the last two years (2014-15 and 2015-16) was analyzed and compared with the baseline data. Bihar showed significant improvement on many parameters of elementary education. Despite the fact that Bihar is yet to achieve the desirable level but the progress is evident. Other than learning achievement in terms of quality Bihar has shown her firm determination to change the gloomy picture of elementary education. The findings reflect a positive trend of upward movement. Right from access to teachers in school Bihar has made progress in the light of RTE act, 2009.


The study conducted by Bihar Education Project Council, Patna (BEPC) on U-DISE (Unified District Information of School Education) and later on, compiled by National University of Education and Planning, New Delhi (2016) for generating composite scenario of elementary education in India gives rise to two distinct patterns of school educationwithin state and between states. BEPC (2015-16) presents scenario of elementary education of 38 districts in Bihar. These two separate analyses generate time series data for understanding the effectiveness of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) within the state and between the states. Bihar when compared with other states, trails on many educational parameters. But the reality is something else. Some districts of Bihar have consistently performed well while some of them have gradually improved within temporal interval. Educational Development Index (EDI) reflects the relative standing of each district within a temporal span. It helps formulate the forward educational planning. Further, a volume of inputs required for each district on each parameter can be determined. Educational Development Index (EDI) is applied to diagnose malaise in SSA and make categorical treatment of the performing districts. Time series data generated by U-DISE are reflected through four parameters-access, infrastructure, teacher and outcomes. Each parameter consists of a number of variables. The composite scores (weighted score) of each parameter reveal the relative standing of a district. Hence, it is desirable to analyze district wise educational development. It is too early to conclude that Bihar accounts for poor performance on elementary education. Flash Statistics (2014-15) published by NUEPA for all 36 states and UTs demonstrated that Bihar was at the 32th rank (Primary 36th rank and Upper Primary 31st rank). Student Classroom Ratio (SCR) and Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) were 57 and 52 respectively in Bihar which was very high as compared to other States. For the last one decade the Government of Bihar (GoB) has initiated a plethora of interventions to improve the status of elementary education. These interventions cover both the state-designed programme as well as the central government programme known as SSA to attain the basic objectives of RTE, 2009. It has made some significant effects on school education. The purpose of the study is to assess the progress of elementary education in Bihar and to compute a district-wise Educational Development Index (EDI). This paper assesses an impact of various educational inputs on elementary education in Bihar in terms of access, infrastructure, teacher and outcomes. Based on the UnifiedDistrict Information of School Education (U-DISE) data an effort was made to compute an Educational Development Index (EDI) separately for each parameter- access, infrastructure, teachers and outcomes and also a composite index for the state. Another aim of the study is to appraise the progression of elementary education for the last one decade on some selected parameters. For this, the baseline data of 2005-06 was taken into consideration.

Page(s) 135-143

There has been a significant expansion of schools in Bihar for the last few years. The analysis suggests that upper primary schools are more equitably distributed among districts of the State than that of primary schools. The implementation of the SSA has substantially strengthened primary and upper primary schools and additional classrooms (ACR). Despite significant achievement on access parameter, a significant number of habitations remain deprived of primary schools facilities within one kilometer and upper primary schools within a distance of three kilometers. Over a period of time, the ratio of primary to upper primary schools has significantly improved but the same is not as envisaged in the policy directives. The State needs to notify neighborhood schools for each habitation on priority basis. Nevertheless, access to education in tune with the increased Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) requires many more school buildings both for primary and upper primary levels. It is evident that the Department of Education is the main provider of elementary education. The department of Welfare runs a few schools designed for the specific targeted population. Several studies have supported the fact that basic infrastructure facilities such as classrooms, toilets and drinking water, etc. improve attendance, retention and facilitate learning processes. The RTE Act, 2009 lays down the minimum physical and academic infrastructure for a school. Unfortunately, most of the government schools do not fulfill the norms as prescribed by the RTE Act. A large number of primary schools (opened after 2006-07) do not have their own school buildings and other teachinglearning facilities. It is important to highlight that Bihar is facing acute shortage of govt. as well as donated land for construction of New School Buildings (NSBs). However, the State is making her sincere efforts to make available land for NSBs. The situational analysis reveals that student classroom ratio (SCR) is dense in Bihar. A large number of schools do not have adequate instructional rooms adversely affecting the quality learning. In case of middle schools the existing infrastructure is certainly better but some essential facilities lack in many of these schools. As per U-DISE Data 2014-15, there is a huge need of Additional Class Rooms (Approx. 2.14 Lakhs) in the State. The pace of completion of the sanctioned additional classrooms (ACR) as well school buildings is relatively slow. Efforts need to be taken for timely completion of such schemes. The State also needs to take up the detailed exercise of school mapping immediately and plan proper development of classrooms in the campus. Every school requires at least two toilets–one for boys and other for girls, falling which the drop out and gender and social gaps would widen. Although the State has been able to provide basic amenities like boys and girl’s toilet and drinking water facilities for many elementary schools, a real challenge lies in maintaining toilets and making it usable for the children. Opening new schools will merely not serve the purpose. The State should ensure that schools must evolve sanitation practices. The State needs first, to put much more efforts to reduce infrastructural gap and second, to induce basic facilities from the perspective of implementation of the RTE Act. The situational analysis indicates that the number of teachers and pupil teacher ratio (PTR) over the time has improved significantly but, still there are schools which do not have adequate number of teachers. Hence, the State should take decision to rationalize teacher post and should ensure that every school has adequate number of teachers as per its need. Upper Primary teachers face difficulties in teaching science and mathematics as they do not have science teachers. Therefore, appointment of teachers against all sanctioned posts is urgently needed. The poor quality of school education is a direct result of poor quality of teacher education and teacher training. A large number of untrained teachers are working in the schools. Almost all the DIETs, PTECs and B.Ed. colleges in Bihar are in a state of hibernation. The facilities available for pre-service and in-service training are inadequate in the State.

The The enrolment at the primary and upper primary levels of education over the time has improved significantly. The increase in enrolment at upper primary is more substantial as compared to primary. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at the Primary level is consistent over the years. The same trend has also been observed for Net Enrolment Ratio (NER). No major gender gap is observed in the GER and NER. Further district-wise analysis reveals that many districts of Bihar the GER of girls is higher than boys. The data also reveals a substantial increase in GER at Upper Primary level over the years. It is heartening to note that the transition rate of girl children is better than that of boys. The number of out-of-school children has substantially been reduced (about 1 per cent). The GER is fraught with statistical flaws. An urgent need therefore, is to ensure the record of children properly by maintaining and updating the figures being archived. The number of out of school children (OSCC) reported is also not in line with other flow rate of indicators. However, the number of OOSC is still significant and requires specific planned intervention.

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