The World Bank on 20 May 2015 approved 250 million US dollar credit for the Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness in Bihar Programme. The credit will be provided to improve the effectiveness of elementary school teachers in Bihar by making them more qualified, accountable and responsive.
The credit is being provided from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, and the credit is on IDA terms with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period.
The programme will be implemented over a five year period and will support the state in
• Development of high quality education institutions
• Ensure certification for unqualified elementary school teachers and continuous professional development of teachers in service
• Help effective teacher management and performance and improve teacher accountability at the school level
The problem of quality of education in Bihar
Among many problems affecting Bihar education system, quality of education is the worrisome problem. The quality of education in turn is the result of lack of trained teachers in Bihar. By 2020, the number of teachers is expected to exceed 6 lakhs but the state’s training capacity is less than 5000 teachers annually. It means state needs to train at least ten times more teachers annually.
Further, this has been compounded by years of underinvestment in teacher education in Bihar since the 1990s.
Besides, the problem of absenteeism is also affecting the quality of education in Bihar. Though in recent past between 2003 and 2010, Bihar experienced a 10 percent reduction in absenteeism rates, still teacher absenteeism continues to be quite high.
How World Bank programme will help address the problem?
The programme will be part of the Bihar government's school education reform programme, also known as Manav Vikas programme, which is being implemented to improve the quality of education especially for elementary level children.
The programme will benefit some 450000 teachers in government elementary schools in Bihar, particularly the 65000 new unqualified entrants who will receive certification through Open Distance Learning (ODL).
As a result, it is expected that some 21.2 million elementary school students will gain access to improved classroom teaching and learning.
Institutions like the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), Primary Teacher Education Centers (PTECs) at the district level and Block Resource Centers (BRCs) and Cluster Resource Centers (CRCs) at the sub-district level will also be strengthened to function as local learning centers.
This program will help the state improve the learning environment and the performance of teachers in schools, with strong monitoring, evaluation and governance mechanisms.
For a robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism, the program will introduce a number of initiatives which include Teacher Education Management Information System (TEMIS) and Teacher Education Institutional Development Index (TEIDI) among others.
• World Bank Country Director in India: Onno Ruhl
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What: Approved by World Bank
When: 20 May 2015