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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Schools of Scandal – Bihar’s Education System

In this age of sophistication, academic excellence is achieved in various ways. The light of knowledge can come in different ways and from many sources, but it should always be free from the mist of falsity and the glitter of illusion. But in Bihar, the story of academia is pretty gloomy for the past some years. It has earned its distinction of having been steeped in such academic humbug.

It is often noticed that education has literally been strangulated in this state. Heaven forbid, the one who has topped the chart of merit does not know how many subjects she had appeared for in the examination. ‘Prodigal Scienceis the subject that teaches the skill of cookery for the topper Ruby Rai of Vaishali, who earned high praises for her achievement. While Saurabh Shrestha, who scored the highest marks in the intermediate science exams, shocked everyone as he could not answer basic questions of chemistry. The pictures of wall-scrambling by cheat-facilitators in Bihar, which went viral in social media some months back, had drawn international ridicule.

Why has Education in Bihar reached this sorry state of affairs?

Is it not quite illogical to put the blame on the students alone? Are not those leaders who ruled this Bihar with the brute force of lawlessness responsible? One need not dig deeper to smell the stench of political sewage and the subsequent rise of crimes in Bihar for over two decades. This has practically corroded the social and academic fabric that now we are witnessing such shameful instances.

Here we have noticed how some political leaders contest elections from inside the confines of prison. Laloo Prasad Yadav, RJD’s Chief, who has been topping the chart of goondaism for the last two decades, is still holding this state to ransom. He has a whole bunch of followers who know no other law, but the sound of guns and pistols.  Just a few weeks ago a journalist Rajdeo Ranjan was murdered allegedly by an RJD gangster. The criminality in politics seems to have again come back with a vengeance in the present setup where RJD claims its pound of flesh.

Not surprisingly, Laloo Prasad pushed for his son Tejashwi Yadav, who is just a IX passed student, to become the Deputy Chief Minister of the state; besides another son Tej Pratap Yadav as the Minister of Health and Environment. Here the big question is that how come his RJD is not de-recognized by the judiciary, despite taking Bihar to the abyss of regression with jungle raj’ for so many years. Here commoners do not fear the wild animals such as lions, tigers or bears but they are afraid of the ferocious member of political parties who shoot vulnerable opponents like one shoots birds for fun. One can check out the crime charts and know for himself the ‘who and how’ of the crimes perpetrated for the last twenty years.

In the first place, it’s natural for any layman to point the accusing finger at the constitution and the judiciary of the country that allows criminals to form any number of parties and contest elections. Why are strong clauses not etched in the Constitution that prevent the devious characters from contesting elections and holding the seat of power? Didn’t it occur to our Constitution makers that giving a sharp dagger to the inexperienced & undeserving will be disastrous. Daggers should only be wielded by the skillful knights whose job is to protect the weak.

Look at the list of the recently elected Ministers in Bihar, their portfolios, and their academic qualifications. One can’t help but laugh in disbelief. Again, the fact that such ineligible rookies and jailbirds are in the ministry does not make the mainstream media sit up, is a classic case of mystery.

Of course, one cannot ever doubt that there are countless exceptionally brilliants students, scientists, technocrats, administrators who are being produced by this sacred land of Chandragupta Maurya and Buddha’s enlightenment. Where there is a will there is a way.

So, it is much expected now that without any further delay the state’s administrative machinery and politicians should pull together to plug the gap. It is Nalanda University of this glorious Bihar that had for thousands of years attracted the knowledge seekers from the far off lands. Let the past glory be restored before it is too late.

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Salil Gewali
Salil Gewali
Salil Gewali is a Journalist & Writer from Upper Mawprem, Shillong, Meghalaya.


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