December 08, 2019

State of Education in Bihar


EDUCATION plays an important role in enriching the lives of individuals and in the development of human capital of a nation. Educational investments have multiple benefits, as it’s a powerful tool for reducing poverty un-employment and inequality.

But in reality, today’s education system is reproducing poverty, unemployment and social inequalities instead of removing them. It’s the responsibility of the government to take the sector like education as its priority to make a country or state to progress.

Supreme Court of India  has too, given the verdict on cheating scam in Bihar Board 2008 exam. That “if our country is to progress, we must maintain high educational standards and this is only possible if malpractices in the examinations are curbed with an iron hand.”      

We all are aware of Bihar’s cheating (copying in the examination), topper’s scam and others which symbolises the deterioration in the education system in Bihar.

The Indian education system is among the largest in the world, with about 26 crore children enrolled in the classes of I to XII located in 36 states (now 35) and  union territories, 683 districts about 7300 blocks , more than 8200 clusters, covering more than 15 lakh schools.

The NEP(new education policy) of 1968, 1986, later modified in 1992, had endorsed the norm of 6 per cent of GDP as the minimum expenditure on education. However this target has never been met.  Currently the expenditure is around 3.5 per cent of GDP. Literacy rates of India is 69.01 per cent, while Kerala has the highest and Bihar with the lowest literacy rates.

When we talk about the quality of education one can imagine by looking on the survey conducted by NCERT, survey finds that nearly half of the class IV students were not able to read at class II level, nearly the same proportion of class V students, did not have basic arithmetic skills, which they should have learned by the end of class-II.

In Bihar, government has decided to shut down around 3,000 schools. A survey report (ASER 2018), showed that 77.8 per cent government schools do not have their own play ground and 40.9 per cent of schools do not have a library. There are around 73,000 elementary schools (I-VIII), 2.53 lakh post of teacher’s are sanctioned, but around 1 lakh posts are vacant. The last teacher’s appointments, on contract basis were made in 2013. Since then no appointment of any teacher was done, and the majority of the teachers appointed are on the recommendations of village mukhiyas, ward councilors or others. They have not undergone any type of proper educational training nor do they have educational qualifications. Bihar’s schools do not have basic infrastructure like bench, table etc.

Against the deteriorating education and the NEP, students in Bihar on the call of SFI organised various programmes; student’s burnt the draft of NEP-19 in different corners of Bihar, in different universities and campuses.    

On September 27, SFI and DYFI organized a state level protest in the state capital Patna raising the issues of education and employment.