By Shivansh Gupta
The recent controversy surrounding Bihar toppers has left an impression on young minds about the UP-Bihar education system. The general perception we have about these rural students also tends us to bolster the cause behind passing these examinations by unfaithful means. But is it true? Education in rural parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh has many holes of fallacies filled with corruption and nepotism.
What All Do We Lack?
The infrastructure, cleanliness, legitimacy of teachers, mid-day meals, studying environment, low attendance of students and of teachers, teachers not being able to spell basic words and then the examinations, all of them needs a makeover.
According to 2011 Census, both UP and Bihar combined shares 30% of country’s rural population. It is only if the government pays attention to the rural education, then the villages will stand shoulder to shoulder with the cities. The present education system at the primary levels has many loopholes which in the words of Arvind Adiga (author of Man Booker winner The White Tiger) “makes many half-baked Indians with heads like an ‘odd museum’ of half-cooked ideas.”
The basic problem is that most of the parents in villages find it practically hard to believe that some good will happen to their wards because of their education, as many of them fail to go above than primary level. Most of the times the financial status is so poor that one can hardly think of getting educated than helping their family to earn some money. These are the suppressed strata of society who have lost hope to come out of their adversities. Disparity among them is so much that whenever they see even a bourgeoisie from a city they refer to them as Sir or Sahab. Teachers in the primary schools of these areas also don’t have any expectations from the students, for them, the fondness for the midday meal is the only motivation for students to come to school.
Solution Lies In The System Itself
These mindsets must change. Education there is primarily concerned with alphabets, counting, literature and grammar. But this is not enough as students do not get much exposure. They should also be made aware of professions/skills so that they can at least dream of becoming a Sahab.
There should be a migration scheme to the worthy schools of nearby cities for diligent students who cannot afford education, on government patronage. Primary level schools should be proper and with adequate teacher and other facilities. Extra-curricular activities and inter-school competitions are necessary for all-round development.
It is not just education which plays a role in their harmonious growth but also extra- curricular activities which would deviate their mind from the unacceptable reality which they have to face at home.
If the primary education would not be backboneless, there will be not such stories of another fake topper. Though the role of parents is the most important but SOME PARENTS ARE POLITICIANS FIRST. As it was in the case of Ruby Rai.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.