A number of government school teachers in the country feel that interaction with parents in discussing their wards’ performance played a crucial role in achieving Education for All (EFA) as envisioned under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Central Government’s flagship programme for achieving universalisation of elementary education.

According to a survey conducted by Aide et Action – an international development organisation – covering 1,000 primary and upper primary government school teachers, 23 per cent of teachers said that developing relationship with parents and organising frequent meetings with them to discuss the children’s performance was an answer to achieving EFA.

The survey on “Quality Education: Challenges and Opportunities” covered teachers from 16 districts across six States – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan – to understand, analyse and disseminate teachers’ notions on quality education and the challenges they face.

Most teachers (33 per cent) felt that quality education refers to education that instils basic knowledge in students and ensures they are able to read, write, learn and speak well.

In fact, 7 per cent teachers admitted that the quality of teachers (which is not satisfactory) remained a “challenge” in achieving the goal of EFA, said the survey report released by leading development economist and educationist Bhalchandra Mungekar here on Tuesday.

In the study, about 22 per cent teachers asserted that ensuring adequate student-teacher ratio and providing trainings to the teachers could contribute to accomplishing EFA.

The teachers also pointed out the constraints they face that hinder their “effective performance”, which vary from absence of separate classrooms, inadequate salary, lack of basic infrastructure to their involvement in non-teaching activities.

“About 20 per cent of the teachers feel strongly that their involvement in non-teaching activities (like electoral duty, census duty) has become a main hurdle hindering their effective performance,” said the report.

However, around 48 per cent of the teachers opined that lack of awareness about the importance of education among parents posed a major hurdle for them.

“This attitude of parents results in not sending their children to school regularly and lack of interest in children towards school is holding them (the teachers) back in realising quality education for all,” said the report.

The purpose of the survey was to highlight the understanding of teachers on quality education, their perspectives on the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and their reflections on how to enhance the quality of education under the current circumstances, said an official from the Aide et Action South Asia.