Much have been said and written about the state of education in Bihar describing the causes and effects elucidating shambolic state of its education system.
The wide reportage of cheating in examinations and the recent toppers’ scam awakened our senses like never before and rightly so. The government was quick to respond and took necessary actions and further assured that they are determined to improve the education system that has attained quite a notoriety. Bihar which is on the path of development can’t afford to neglect education which is one of the most basic tenets of human development.
The backwardness of Bihar in almost every field is both a challenge as well as an opportunity. The former is obvious and latter in the sense that in the last in the last 40-50 years world has seen every facet of development and its impeding costs and the best model churned out of these experiences is ‘sustainable development’. Today, Bihar is in best position to accept and implement this model.
This model of sustainable development can rightly be extended in parallel to cover education as well which means not just education which has its own constraints but ‘sustainable education’ which uplift people towards economic prosperity through skill, imagination, innovation and intelligence. Again, Bihar is at advantage to adopt this model.
Going by some newspaper reports and government surveys dropout rate in class I-VIII was as high as 83 per cent in 2013, it has 6 colleges per lakh students against national average of 26 and Puducherry leading with 64; gross enrollment ratio in higher education(18-23 years) of 13.1 with national average being 20.4 . These are some vital statistics that make national news but what goes overlooked is the ground realities of wide absenteeism of teachers, untimely conduct of examinations, financial irregularities and lackluster administration of schools and colleges.
Amid the dismal picture there are some glimmers of hope in the innovations like Super30/Rahmani30 which are helping students from disadvantaged sections to get admission into premier institutions of the country. Such initiatives have inspired more such institutes in other parts of country which is a welcome sign. Bicycle scheme provided wings to our daughters and never before in history has witnessed such upsurge. These examples instill the belief that with determination change is just a matter of time and Bihar is capable for it.
The recent decision of opening Purnia and Pataliputra universities is a step in right direction. Seemanchal (comprising Araria, Purnia, Katihar and Kishanganj) is among the most backward regions. Purnia University will surely help to manage and evolve the colleges of the hinterland which are in sheer neglect since independence. It’ll also help the future prospects of establishing medical, engineering and other professional college in the region. Pataliputra University will take off the burden from Patna and Magadh universities and they can channelize their energy and resource to develop themselves into state of art facilities.
A development can’t be sustainable if it is centered only around the capital city. Patna-centric development will create economic, social and ecological imbalance. All the roads should lead to the capital but the traffic must be two way. When we talk of making villages self-sufficient it means the corresponding districts should be well equipped to ensure such self-sufficiency.
To weed out the educational imbalance there is a crying need to strengthen the higher education ecosystem at the district level. Universities and colleges are vital cog in the wheel of nation building. If we are able to develop a robust higher education ecosystem, the development will percolate downstream to school and vocational level as well. This top to bottom approach will lead to knowledge economy which will strengthen agriculture and production activities as well.
These propositions are not building castle in air, they are very much in our capacity and reach. History is the greatest teacher and if there is disgrace of recent past which was a warning bell then we’ve inspiration of ancient past in the form of Nalanda University which can guide us to regain our lost glory. Biharis are supremely capable people, the world knows it and it is the time world gets a taste of Brand Bihar in true sense and its strong population of 99 million has its contribution in nation building.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS