July 30, Enthused by the outcome of regular inspection of government schools by District Magistrates, the Bihar Education Department has requested all DMs to make the ‘monitoring system’ of schools in their respective areas a regular exercise now.
Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Education Department, K K Pathak, in a letter dated July 26, 2023, to all DMs urged them to inspect government schools in their respective district at least twice a week and to make it ‘a regular exercise’ to improve the quality of education in the state.
Earlier, DMs were requested to carry out regular inspections of government schools in their districts for a month only.
During the month-long (July) exercise by the DMs, the department found that around 23,000 government schools were inspected.
“Therefore, inspection of schools by DMs should be made a regular exercise now”, said the ACS Education department in his letter. The letter is in the possession of PTI.
Meanwhile, the Education department has expressed dismay over the non-utilisation of a staggering sum of over Rs 1,100 crore by secondary and higher secondary schools, many of which lack basic amenities like drinking water facilities, toilets and light.
The alarming situation was flagged by Pathak in another letter to DMs who have been told that more than Rs 261 crore, meant for primary schools, also remained unutilised though the sum could be used for providing scholarships and supplying uniforms.
In a letter, dated July 24, 2023, to all DMs, Pathak said, “In a bid to improve ‘quality of classroom transaction’, all District Education Officers (DEOs) have been directed to hold virtual meetings of principals of their respective area of jurisdiction in the evening on daily basis. What steps are being taken to improve the quality of education, extracurricular activities for students and other measures by the principals in their respective schools will be discussed at length on a daily basis in these virtual meetings.
“All DMs are requested to prepare an action plan in coordination with DEOs so that virtual meetings with principals can be started immediately”. There are a total of 75,000 government schools in the state.
“During the month-long inspection of government schools, which started from July 1, 2023, under the supervision of DMs in all districts, it has been found that attendance of students in government schools in the state is not good and satisfactory. A lot needs to be done, including introduction of innovative measures, holding regular computer classes, opening of e-libraries, hiring experienced and expert teachers for mathematics, science and english from outside, providing better internet facilities, safety measures, etc.., to improve the overall academic environment in schools.
“Inspection also revealed that a staggering sum of over Rs 1,100 crore remained unutilised by secondary and higher secondary schools, many of which lack basic amenities like drinking water facilities, toilets and light bulbs. These funds were supposed to be used by principals, but they failed to utilise it because of certain compulsions”, said the ACS Education department said in his letter.
Similarly, more than Rs 261 crore, meant for primary schools, remained unutilised though the sum could be used for providing scholarships and supplying uniforms to the students.
“Here also, principals and school management committees are responsible for non-utilisation of funds. All DMs in coordination with their respective DEOs must explore options whether these funds can be utilised for certain academic activities in the schools, otherwise, the amount should be immediately deposited to the government’s treasury”, wrote the ACS in his five pages letter.
Pathak said the same method should be applied for unutilised Rs 1,100 crore meant for secondary and higher secondary schools. The ACS has also initiated the process of simplifying provisions so that principals can use these funds on their own without going through a long administrative process.
“During the inspection, it has also come to notice that a large number of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) kits, sports and science lab materials, youth and eco club materials sent to schools in the state under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan were not utilised at all. In certain cases, boxes containing these materials were not even opened for years by the school administration…”, Pathak said in his letter.
Source: PTINews, States