Teaching-learning of early grade readers at community schools poor

Published On: February 7, 2017 12:00 AM NPT By: Bishnu Prasad Aryal

KATHMANDU, Feb 7: The teaching-learning process of early grade students has been utterly neglected by the teachers in the community schools, a report released on Monday said.

A preliminary report of a baseline survey carried out by USAID in 2014 in the community schools of 20 districts shows that only 1.6 percent of children were able to read 45 words correctly and comprehend 80 percent. The survey was carried out among 8,487 students of 292 community schools in 20 districts. 

The survey carried out applying the tools of early grade reading assessment among the students of grades 2 and 3 shows that only 1.4 percent students of grade 2 and 1.8 percent of grade 3 answered correctly to four questions. “Thirty-seven percent of second graders and 19 percent of third graders were not able to read a single word correctly,” says the assessment conducted by USAID.

Dhananjaya Sharma, teacher expert, said that teachers were more responsible for the deterioration in the quality of teaching-learning process at community schools. He said factors such as participation of guardians in the process is equally important for improve the quality of education at schools. “The teaching practice in our schools is very bad,” he said. “The teachers should be friendly and create participatory environment in classrooms,” he said. “Teachers' potential should be fully exploited to improve the situation.”

In a bid to improve the quality of early grade reading, the Ministry of Education in coordination with USAID has implemented the national early grade reading program in six districts -- Bhaktapur, Banke, Kanchanpur, Manang, Kaski and Saptari from the current academic year. The program will be extended to 10 districts --Bardiya, Kailali, Dang, Dadeldhura, Dhankuta, Dolpa, Mustang, Parsa, Rupandehi and Surkhet from the coming fiscal year, according to the Department of Education (DoE).

The national early grade reading program will be implemented in a total of 5,000 primary schools of 16 districts, encompassing 15,000 teachers, 1 million students of Grade 1-3 and 300 senior government officials, according to Edward Graybill, chief of Early Grade Reading Program, USAID. 

In an orientation organized by DoE and USAID in Kathmandu on Monday, Babu Ram Poudel, director general of DoE, said that teaching-learning process in community schools is poor. “We have to focus on access, quality and management to ensure better education. We are dedicated to addressing these concerns,” he added.

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