Why This Bihar District Topped Niti Aayog's Delta Ranking for Education Three Times in a Row – Indian Masterminds

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Why This Bihar District Topped Niti Aayog’s Delta Ranking for Education Three Times in a Row
Highlights
When Sheikhpura in Bihar emerged as the best performing district in the education sector in Niti Aayog monthly delta ranking for July this year, it received this honour for the third time in a row. District Magistrate, Sawan Kumar, IAS, has effectively managed to steer the district, with a population of around 6.5 lakh people, into the course of literary, and the results are there for all to see.
DM Sawan Kumar told Indian Masterminds that this was possible because the administration was successful in upskilling the teachers and inculcating the habit of reading in the children of the district. We bring you more details.

CHANGE IN THE AIR

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People often raise questions about Bihar’s quality of education and the poor infrastructure in this sector. However, this is the same state which has come come up with toppers in UPSC exams, which acts as a motivating factor for students. A change can be seen as three districts of Bihar bagged the top three spots in the Niti Aayog delta ranking for the month of July. This ranking is released after checking various parameters of more than 100 aspirational districts in the country. 

UPSKILLING TEACHERS

Coming back to Sheikhpura, in order to improve the education sector, it started off by focusing on the teachers. DM Sheikhpur, Mr. Sawan Kumar, said, “The first thing while starting the initiatives was to focus on the presence of teachers. For this, I along with other district and block level officers conducted inspections in schools which resulted in increasing the presence of teachers. Secondly, we focused on upskilling the teachers and improving their level of education.”
Master trainers were formed at the district level and were trained in teaching children through activities. For this, the district administration partnered with their development partners, Sony Foundation, who helped the administration in training the teachers with their teaching methodology. After completing this one-month training programme, this was taken to the rural parts of the district in gram panchayats.
INCULCATING READING HABIT

Mr. Sawan Kumar further said that they selected two master trainers from each of the six blocks, and along with other intellectual and learned people, an assessment was done to know where their district was lacking in. In this, the level of children was found out in each class and, hence, a sheet was prepared by the teacher to teach them accordingly. “Among the things we implemented, one is that we made it compulsory for class 4 and 5 students to read,” Mr. Kumar said.
Teachers were instructed to develop a reading habit among the children by asking them to read it aloud. Apart from studies, the administration also tried to get children into extra-curricular activities.
Mr. Sawan said, “Through the Niti Aayog fund, we are picking one school at a time and are converting it into a modern government school. Schools will be renovated and beautified with Bala paintings and stickers of fruits, animals, etc. Apart from this, around 200 schools which comes under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) are also being renovated and added with basic furniture. Through this, we are trying to develop a sense of learning among the children at a very early age.”

GETTING CHILDREN INTO COMPETITIVE MODE
The administration has also planned to keep inter-school competitions in various activities every month or quarter of a year. The hierarchy will go from gram panchayat to block to district level. Children will compete in all these levels until they reach the district level and further can be taken up to the state level. This will create more eagerness among children to perform well in school.
Dropouts are also being convinced to join back schools and parents of these students are being explained the importance of education in today’s world. All these efforts are slowly bringing a change in this small district of Bihar, as children are becoming more interested in their studies while teachers are becoming more equipped to impart better teachings.

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