India celebrates Teacher’s Day on September 5th, which also happens to be the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. While the rest of the country celebrates this day with various events or a holiday in schools, Bihar might be suffering from an acute academic problem. The Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) announced that a staggering 83 percent candidates failed in the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET).
Anand Kishore, the BSEB chief declared the results for the exams conducted across 348 centers this June. The results are available on www.bsebonline.net.
Of the 43,000 candidates who appeared to qualify as teachers for classes I to V, 7,038 or 16.36 percent passed. 1,68,700 candidates appeared for exams for classes VI to VIII but only 17.84 percent passed.
According to a report by IndiaSpend, Bihar faces a crisis in its primary education system and is short of 278,602 teachers. About a million teaching positions are vacant in India with 200,000 in Bihar alone. Literacy rates and learning outcomes are among the lowest in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh; and India is ill-equipped to educate its population. Bihar also happens to be the third most populous state with 99 million people and ranks among the lowest in terms of literacy.
The result comes as a shocker after CM Nitish Kumar’s speech on Teacher’s Day announcing various upcoming and implemented upgrades in schools and the willingness of the current generation to go to school. The chief minister also went on to mention how his government had tried to cut down on school drop-outs by introducing several schemes to help boys and girls.
The chief minister also announced that the state would retire inefficient teachers above the age of 50.
Despite these measures, almost 5 percent children from Bihar aged 6 to 14 are assumed to be out of school.
With the number of teachers being inadequate in Bihar, the students end up suffering. The dropout rates also show that many children do not complete their education. Therefore it is not surprising that a large number of applicants for the TET have flunked.
Will Nitish Kumar’s dream of recruiting more teachers and an educated Bihar be a reality? Only time can tell.