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97% school principals fail knowledge test in Bihar

Patna: In a shocking revelation, only four school principals out of a total of 148 have been found to have passed a knowledge test in Bihar. The tests were conducted to assess their knowledge for their career enhancement, but ironically more than 97 per cent of them failed.

According to a report, a total of 148 school principals posted with government secondary schools from across 29 districts had appeared for the test conducted by the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) last month.

Of them, only four could qualify, while three were caught using unfair means in the examinations and were expelled.

It was mandatory for the principals to obtain at least 50 per cent marks in the exam to get promoted, but let aside reaching that figure, a majority of them couldn’t even pass.

Of them, the worst were the performances of the principals from Patna and Nalanda districts. Incidentally, Patna is the capital of Bihar whereas Nalanda happens to be the home district of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. While 16 out of 18 principals from Patna failed, 11 out of 12 failed in Nalanda.

“It’s really amazing to see majority of the school principals failing the test although the questions concerned the subjects in which they claimed [to] have obtained degrees and were teaching the students in the classrooms,” SCERT director Vinod Kumar Singh told the media today.

This is the second time in quick succession that their performance has come under fire. In September last year, a huge 83 per cent of schoolteachers had failed a teaching eligibility test in Bihar.

The test was conducted by the state-run Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) to check the teaching quality of teachers of students enrolled in grades 1-5 and 6-8. But of the total 43,794 candidates who appeared for the first test, only 7,038 passed — around 16 per cent.

Similarly, only 30,113 of the total 168,761 cleared the second test, barely 17.84 per cent. The result is a glaring showcase of how education has touched a new low in the state.

The problems are not limited to the teaching community only. In May last year, around 70 per cent students failed to clear Grade 12 examinations in Bihar, leading to strong protests across the state. The state government had to hold compartmental examinations to let students pass, which most of them cleared.

According to reports, a total of over 1.2 million students had appeared in the class 12 examination conducted by the BSEB last year, of which 794,622 failed to clear the test. The students from the science stream received the worst-ever setback, with only 30.11 per cent passing.

Likewise, nearly half of the students who appeared for the Grade 10 examinations failed last year. A total of over 1.72 million students sat for the exams this year out of which 859,961 students failed the test. The total pass percentage stood at 50.12.

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