By S Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
Schools were considered to be a serene and sacred place but Bihar Chief Minister thinks that the swanky houses of corrupt officials should be the place to get education. Since Bihar Media’s mind runs only on lines provided by the chief minister himself, almost every news organization is terming this step as a ‘historic moment’.
Ninety Two students of ‘Prathmik Vidyalaya’, Rukkanpura Musahari in Patna were shifted to the confiscated three storeyed building of suspended IAS officer Shiv Shankar Verma. Mr. Verma has been suspended on graft charges. The newspaper reports say that the students of Dalit community were overjoyed with the class rooms replete with mosaic marble flooring. Earlier they were crammed into two rooms of government school.
No student or teacher talked about studies, all were just awestruck by the shining walls and western style toilets. One student asked whether he would have to sit or could he stand on that? Geyser was another item of amusement for them. Some of the students were brought in Indica car though it was not clear for how many days they would get that. But the question is, can we call it education? Nobody seems to like asking why these students were not having proper school rooms. One senior journalist of the Hindustan Times termed it a ‘Nautanki’ to get cheap popularity. He told that every student are being taunted that he/she is studying in the ‘ghusghorwa ka ghar’. For Ninety odd students there were three teachers. Nitish Kumar government has this ‘ability’ to divert the attention from real issues. The real issue is that most of the students are not having proper rooms and books in government schools. The problem is that the schools have been upgraded but teachers have not been provided. The books are not available. On Teachers’ Day many contractual teachers ‘boot polished’ in protest of not getting their wages.
All these are not discussed, in fact not allowed to be discussed in local media. Nitish Kumar chooses to bask in the glory of such cheap ways ant the media obliges. There are five or six more houses to be confiscated of corrupt officials. But would these solve the real problem of education in Bihar?
One may be reminded that in the early nineties the then chief minister Lalu Prasad had started similar gimmick but that was severely criticized. Lalu took Mushar children and got their hair cut and arranged water tanker for a proper bathe for them.
Lalu Prasad did one more thing and that was quite appreciated but that too failed. He opened ‘Charwaha Vidyalayas’ for the children who were traditional shepherds. One has to be very clear that the problem in education is not going to be solved by short term popularity gaining steps.
Many commentators say that Nitish Kumar and his officials should think of better use of such buildings rather than using for temporary popularity. Such houses could be used for better economic gains which in turn could run many schools. Meahnwhile the tainted IAS officer S.S. Verma is reported to have moved against the confiscation of his house. S.S. Verma’s father too has said that his money has also been contributed in the building.