BIHARI EDUCATION THEN AND NOW
By LB THAPA FOR THE ROAMING POST
Ever since ancient times Bihar was the center of erudition. The Nalanda University was established in 5th century CE, then it was the center of scholarship. Nalanda University earned much reputation during the Gupta Empire. The university was so popular that scholars would come as far as Tibet, China, Korea and many other countries from central Asia. Such a wonderful university and its education remained popular for centuries.
Even during the British Raj, Bihar was well ahead in education. The British government had been successfully run higher education in Bihar by establishing Science College, Patna and Prince of Wales Medical College. During ancient time and the British rule, Bihar did impart education par excellence.
However, today everything that was good about Bihar’s education has become a part of history. Today, Bihar’s education is the worst in the world, where educational certificates are sold for prices. Bihar had been the sole distributor of fake educational certificates to Nepal. Over 90% Nepalese who possess Indian educational certificates are procured from Bihar and they are fake ones. Today Bihar’s education has become so notorious that even several foreign universities of Australia, UK, USA, New Zealand and Ireland don’t trust Bihar’s educational certificates. As a result, they treat the students of Bihar with contempt and suspicion.
“Sorry, we cannot stop cheating in Bihar” says chief minister
This is without doubt that there are more than 1.4 million 10th graders is taking the tests at more than 1,200 high schools across the state. To control such a large number of students are a herculean task. But this does not mean that the government should not make any efforts to stop open cheating. However, the reality is different. This is Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar’s policy to give liberty to parents, so that they can assist their wards in the examination. He wants their votes in the upcoming election. Nitish Kumar is playing dirty politics by making parents and students happy for votes. If the government really wants to stop cheating then Bihar government can mobilize its paramilitary at any moment. But he did not do this and he will not as well. Because if he does then he will lose popular votes of those parents in the upcoming election.
Very recently we read a very controversial statement from Bihar’s education minister PK Shahi. He said ”It’s virtually impossible to conduct fair examinations without the cooperation of parents.” The minister showed his helplessness by saying that they are unable to control 6 million parents and others at various examination centers. This is ridiculous statement to give by none other than education minister. So far the state has used Bihar police to keep the people out of the examination centers, but we saw on television how police allowed the people to pass cheats after receiving fair amount of bribes. If Bihar police is corrupt then why don’t they use paramilitary to ward off the people from the examination centers?
This is not for the first time that students are assisted by their parents and others by supplying guide books and cheats. This ritual is repeated every year and the government remains silent like a mute spectator. No government has ever dared to crack down those unbridled parents and others who help the students unfairly.
Interestingly enough this scribe was lately in Bihar and met a group of people, who have opened ad hoc offices for helping the students in the examination centers. Parents have to visit these offices along with their sons or daughters for the identification and pay the fees for providing cheating facility for their wards. Once the payment is made then the agents pay its part to the police on duty and directly reach the students and help them by providing key books and guide books. One of the agents even told us that if more money is paid then the whole answer sheets are replaced and a first division is guaranteed.
There is a network for cheating in Bihar, where political leaders, parents, police and agents have equal benefits
Our investigative team found that political leaders, parents, police and local agents are directly involved in the cheating spree in Bihar. The education minister PK Shahi is right when he says that it is impossible to stop cheating in Bihar. Let’s start with political leaders. Political leaders cannot make parents unhappy by using force and not letting them helping their wards. Parents will give votes to the political party which allows them to assist their wards in the examination. Police will also be happy as they can stake wads of money in their pockets. Local gundas, which actively supports various political parties, collect lots of money during the examination time. These gundas take money and assist the students by supplying cheats to the students. This is a business of these local gundas. Now tell me in this situation how can cheating be stopped in Bihar?
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
LB Thapa is a travel blogger. He is also the author of six books. His books have been published by Nirala Publications, New Delhi, India and Himalayan Maphouse, Kathmandu, Nepal. His book, POKHARA AND ANNAPURNAS has been translated into seven foreign languages. LB Thapa’s books are also available on www.amazon.com
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