The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Poll to grade primary schools

Tamluk (East Midnapore), Dec. 22: “Who is your favourite teacher' Do you understand what your maths teacher asks you to do' Does your teacher take you out to the playground' Tell us a story that you have picked up from any of your teachers'”

These were some of the questions that the district administration asked while putting together a survey of the primary schools in the district to gauge the strengths and weakness of the teachers and grade the institutions.

“We will send the final report to the West Bengal Board of Primary Education so that they can work on the quality of teaching in these grass-roots schools,” district magistrate Anil Kumar Verma said.

The administration here has entrusted block and sub-divisional officers and senior panchayat functionaries to tour designated areas and confront students with a string of questions to draw up a report for each and every school.

Verma said there were 3,209 primary schools in the district and that he has urged the officials to submit their reports by the end of this year.

“To avoid biased reporting, we have entrusted the officials to survey the schools that fall outside their area of operation,” the district magistrate said.

Each official and panchayat functionary has been asked to survey at least four schools. “For instance, an official posted in Contai has been asked to visit four schools in the Tamluk area, and they have to put in this effort in addition to their official duties,” Verma said.

Almost 40 per cent of the assignment is complete. The primary education board will grade the teachers on their individual abilities, the district magistrate said. The survey will also map the rates of attendance in the schools and try and figure out the reasons for absenteeism.

“The dropout rates and the reasons responsible can be determined from this study, which will also throw light on the infrastructure available in the schools, their teacher-student ratios and whether they have been receiving grants regularly,” Verma said.

In the next phase, the panchayats would maintain an “eligible child” register to find out which child was not attending school.

“The aim is to bring each and every child between three and 14 years to attend school,” said the district magistrate.

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