PATNA: Chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar on Tuesday expressed concern over the way education in Bihar and elsewhere in the country is evolving.
Students going to schools in air-conditioned (AC) buses and studying in AC classrooms do not impress the Bihar CM. “Such students are not going to crack competitive examinations. I don’t see them becoming IAS and IPS officers. One has to slog hard even in adverse circumstances to come out with flying colours,” the CM said, adding there was a need to check mushrooming of private schools even in villages and small towns. He asked the officials concerned to find out why the students and their parents avoid government schools.
The CM said when he came to power, education expenditure in the state was around Rs 4,000 crore, which has now gone up to 23,000 crore, around 21% of the state budget.
Praising his bicycle, uniform and scholarship schemes for financially weak students, Nitish said though dropout rate has come to an all-time low in the state, there is a need to focus on quality education. He asked education minister Ashok Chaudhary and officials concerned to make 85% attendance mandatory for students in government schools. Nitish said the state government had taken a loan of Rs 2,200 crore from World Bank to start a project to provide training to the teachers.
On alleged paper leak in the Bihar State Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) examination, Nitish said if found guilty, no one would be spared. ‘Lalchi ke gaon me thag bhukhe nahi marte’, the CM said, adding even the parents, who used wrong means to help their wards pass the examination, were at fault. “The system cannot be improved without the help of the society,” he added.
Nitish also took a dig at those criticising the Centre for involving schoolchildren in January 21 human chain formation in support of prohibition. “Instead of teaching young boys and girls, should we ask 65-year-old people to shun liquor?” he asked.