The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teachers face reality check
- CPM lobby enlists private firm for ‘unbiased’ education survey

Are our teachers up to the task of moulding our future'

An answer to that is set to emerge — at least in a section of state-aided schools — with a research agency putting nearly 200,000 secondary schoolteachers under the scanner.

Commissioned by the All Bengal Teachers’ Association (ABTA), the largest and most influential teachers’ lobby controlled by the CPM, a private research agency is on the last lap of an all-Bengal survey to evaluate teachers.

As part of the Rs 10-lakh survey, a few dozen researchers, deployed by the Nodal Research Centre, are touring the districts for feedback on local teachers. The survey will soon be unveiled in Calcutta, where an estimated 1,000 institutions engage about 50,000 teachers for about 800,000 students. Among the schools to be surveyed are Beltala Girls’, Kamala Girls’, Jodhpur Park Boys’ and Scottish Church.

“It has become a fashion to criticise teachers at public gatherings. Since our survey is being conducted by a private body, its report will give a clear picture of what teachers are actually doing,” said ABTA general secretary Amal Banerjee. The reality-check questions being asked during the survey include:

• Are the teachers fulfilling the expectations of the people'

• Do they teach in the manner they are expected to'

• Do students understand what they are taught in schools'

• Are guardians satisfied with the present evaluation system'

• Is the present examination system correct or does it need to be changed'

The survey, unprecedented in 27 years of Left Front rule, is designed to tackle the trend of teachers finding themselves in the line of fire.

“We want an unbiased report, on the basis of which we will embark upon the next phase of action,” said Banerjee.

“More and more people are demanding quality education for their wards, but the infrastructure development has not been up to the mark. There is no point in blaming the teachers alone,” said Debkumar Basu, president, Nodal Research Centre.

The survey will include an analytical report of the ground reality in schools. ABTA officials claim that an “unbiased” survey will give the “real picture” of where teachers stand and what is to blame for the present state of education.

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