The Nitish Kumar government’s claim of quality education may ring hollow if the chief secretary makes the details public, as ordered by the court.
New Delhi: A judgment of the Patna High Court, in which the court asked the state government to provide details on the number of children of IAS, IPS, class 1 and class II officers of the services of the State who study while enrolled in government-run schools, is likely to blow the lid off the state government’s claims for improving the quality of education in the state.
The submission of the said details, which was to be filed personally by the Secretary General of the State in the Patna High Court on August 16, was postponed due to the unavailability of the judge concerned. Judge Anil Kumar Upadhyay, who was hearing a case filed by “guest teachers” whose services were allegedly “arbitrarily terminated”, made scathing remarks about the quality of education in Bihar. He ordered the chief secretary’s personal affidavit, seeking details of these wards of officers after the chief secretary, in his counter-affidavit, made “very big claims” and “highlighted the measures. taken to improve the quality of education in the state of Bihar. ”. The judge, while refusing to accept the assertions of the chief secretary, said that “the policies and the schemes only serve to glorify the files”.
Visiting teachers have been hired by the state government to increase the acute shortage of teachers in the state. According to sources based in Patna, according to information gathered by the chief secretary, the number of wards of officers studying in public schools in the state is “minimal”. The state government, sources say, will likely ask for more time to compile the information once the hearing resumes. This is being done, sources said, to “drag it out” as the public domain release of information that bureaucrats do not put their wards in public schools will have a negative impact on the image. of the government led by Nitish Kumar who has been governing the state with the help of the BJP for 15 years now. The judge, in his order, said: “It seems that the education system in the state of Bihar has deteriorated and no one is taking the problem of the education system seriously. It appears that the system only spoils the future generation because only the formality of school education is carried out in this State. The system cannot be improved, as long as officials are allowed to educate their wards outside the state of Bihar. “
“The system can only be improved if all state officials are obliged to keep their wards in public educational establishments; Only then will officials see the rise in the level of education. The poor have no choice but to send their pupils to public educational institutions. The Court is led to understand that in most cases, in-course students have to go through the unlearning process because the type of education provided is not quality education. In recent years, the electronic media and newspapers have highlighted the type of education provided in public educational institutions in the state of Bihar, but it is all happening in the ears of those in the know. head of affairs, ”Judge Upadhyaya wrote. in its interim order.
“The Court is of the opinion that the education system cannot be improved as long as the education system is based on the concept of a separate system – one for the elite section and the other for the poor Biharis who must remain satisfied with the free book by Madhyahan Bhojan, bicycle uniform with poor teaching or no teaching, ”he added.
“The Chief Secretary in his counter affidavit made very high statements and highlighted the steps taken to improve the quality of education in the state of Bihar, but these policies and programs only glorify the records where these Policy documents are kept to understand the qualitative change and improvement. The Court is of the opinion that the improvement of the system can be measured by the confidence of the people in the system. That the chief secretary convene a videoconference of the district magistrates of all districts of the state to solicit information from the district magistrate on the number of wards of IAS and IPS and class I and II officers in the state service studies in elementary schools and other public schools ”.
“Subsequently, the Chief Secretary will file an affidavit, providing details of the elite class wards, as the admission of their wards to government-run schools will inspire confidence in both qualitative improvement. that the pupils of the elite class undergo training in the non-governmental education system. , the great assertion of qualitative change is just eye drops. The gold test of the quality change index is in the public sector and not in the private institution and sending the elite class wards out of Bihar State or the private education system is an indicator of mistrust of the government-run education system, as even the IAS and IPS and other elite classes are convinced that government-run schools are falling short and , as such, they send their wards to receive an education out of state or to a private school on payment of huge admission and tuition fees. “
“Someone in the system has to take responsibility. In the particular facts and circumstances, the chief secretary of state of Bihar is required to file a personal affidavit in the case to save the day,” said the judge.
Lawyer Vipin Kumar, who represents the suspended guest teachers, told the Sunday Guardian that the date of the next hearing in the case has not yet been decided. “The judge concerned is not available for the moment; once the tribunal meets again, only then will we know when the case will be heard next. The court, at its last hearing on July 13, asked the chief secretary to collect the relevant information and, logically, the state should submit the same at the next hearing, ”Kumar said. After the said order, the additional chief secretary of the State Department of Education, Sanjay Kumar, in a letter dated July 23, asked all district magistrates, police commissioners (SP) and officials of the district education to collect the information.
The Sunday Guardian has contacted Kumar for a response on the report, but none have been received until the report goes to press.