The second time victory of Nitish Kumar, as the analysts say, owes its existence to relative peace and some basic infrastructure developments, like roads, school buildings etc. etc. He has no doubt streamlined the administrative loose ends. Yet, these are superfluous and need to have regular upkeep. And therefore, the government has to be continuously active failing which this would prove to be a castle of cards. You remove a card from the bottom and the whole things come down in a jiffy.
These cosmetic changes can be palpable for voters to fall for in view of the politically influenced election but depending solely on them for long political sustenance will be detrimental. The political parties which intend to continue in power have to set forth both the short term and the long term goals. Roads and bridges, thus, come within the parameter of short term goals whereas education (human resources development), power, finance, industries etc. require long term planning.
The present government can escape the liability for long term planning on the plea of paucity of time for its first term but it cannot play the same card for its second term also. I see that the government has brought the legislation against corruption in order to bridge the gap between the law and the offenders yet much will depend on its implementation for the simple reason that the onus to get the offender punished lies on investigating agencies. And I find little change in modus operandi of the police department because they still depend on primitive methods of investigation that solely include the third-degree methods to make accuse admit the charges which is inadmissible in courts. Consequently the offenders go scot free. Arushi’s murder case is a burning example in this context. However, it is a herculean task to change the mindset of the police personnel in Bihar as they have been more abused than used there. Even the commissioned officers are no better in this regard.
Talking about long term goal, education needs complete revamping in Bihar as it is the backbone of a society and it is true in case of Bihar too. At present there doesn’t seem any correlation between the subject contents, the educators and the educands. No matter how better books you procure it is useless unless the classroom activities conform to it. And, therefore, the classroom has to be manned by competent teachers who can execute the content. But then the question remains where you will get them from.
The examination system in large parts of Bihar started derailing somewhere in 1969-70 which was somehow brought back to track in 1995 with the initiative of judiciary but to a very marginal extent. Now when Mr. Nitish Kumar talks about ensuring quality in education it seems just hypothetical if not preposterous because the degree holders available in the market or the teachers in the schools appointed so far, are incapable to deliver the goods as this lot is the product of the era of pandemonium in education in Bihar. It is a scenario for the government in Bihar where beggars are scarcely choosers.
The schools for a long time are treated as job baskets by the governments for political survival and last resorts for educated vagabonds for social survival. Push and pull so far has been the catalyst for government employments. The recent case in which when the court made a terse remark about a BDO questioning his appointment for his failure to understand the bare provision of legislation, is an eye opener for the government towards the kind of workforce it has to depend on. What then can be done?
Bringing teachers from other parts of the country is illogical besides being impractical and against public sentiments. Then the only alternative that remains is rigorous in-service training for teachers on the pattern of distance education and for fresh appointments, strict academic tests to be conducted by an outside agency of considerable repute. Though, it would be much better if an administrative Cell of its own is constituted with experts in the field with a view to selecting and monitoring the educational activities throughout and with the responsibility of periodical assessments of its own activities and of individual teacher in order that both the Cell and the teacher can be held responsible for the act of omission and commission. Depending on IGNOU like agencies will be fruitless. The in-service training should be linked with the periodical enhancement of their remuneration so that it bears a compulsion for them. Needless to say that it is an established fact that education is an on-going process and I dare say that the teachers seldom read except some newspapers once they get ushered in the schools.
Similarly, the police administration needs radical reforms particularly in the field of law enforcement and the method of investigation. This can be ensured again largely by maintaining critical reports of each police personnel towards his ability to understand the provisions of law, its execution and his ability of presentation of the case before the court thereby ensuring a logical end of it. Since the system never establishes accountability for them they least bother for gathering cogent evidences to ensure justice.
S. S. Thakur, Guest Contributor, PatnaDaily.Com