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BDVS: On the Campaign Trail for Quality Education

‘Every child in school and actively learning’ is the mantra for all those who define the Right to Education. But do the government schools of Bihar really deliver? Several studies have showed us that the learning levels in primary schools in Bihar are certainly not up to the mark. Government schools are the only recourse for the children of our villages.

A ‘Cluster Quiz’ was organised for elementary school students. It was part of the on-going efforts of Bihar Dalit Vikas Samiti to support quality education in government schoolsinsome 50 village schools in ten Panchayats of Belchi, Barh, Barbigha and Samastipur.

‘The Campaign for Quality Primary Education’ is apilot projectbeing run by the Bihar Dalit Vikas Samiti. ‘We are actually trying to find out what are method that can effectively contribute to the right to education,’ says BDVS director FrAnto Joseph says that for the purpose of the exercise, quality education needed to be defined in the very strict sense of academic competence, but at the same time it does not ‘discount the importance of personality development, formation of values, ethics and ideals of citizenship.’

The main goal of this project is to create a demand within the public for quality education in primary schools. Unless the local communities and civil society begins to demand for quality, the goal cannot be realised. The project will cover three areas
  1. Academic activities at the level of the school.
  2. Ambedkar Prerna Kendra- A motivational centre for children in each of the fifty villages, with co-curricular activities in the centre. .
  3. Formation of Panchayat Quality Education Committee (PQEC) in each Panchayat. Formed with 4-5 men and women who have an interest to contribute towards quality education. There will be capacity building for the PQEC.
The BDVS cluster quiz competition was one of the activities aiming at getting the children to increase their learning competencies in a fun way. The quiz was for elementary school students in grades 5 to 8. The schools in the ‘cluster’ have been chosen by BDVS. There are about ten schools in every cluster.

There was great enthusiasm among children for the quiz. Before the competition, a question bank of about a hundred questions on various topics for the class 5 to 8 competency level was printed and distributed. The quiz was based on the questions. The teachers were very enthused as well. Over 5,000 students in all participated.

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