Bihar’s ‘Gandhi schools’ to be upgraded, really?

PATNA: Things connected with Mohandas Gandhi are in  fashion for politicians these days. Some 391 Buniyadi Vidyalaya (basic schools)  opened before 1947 that followed Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of ‘nai talim’ that inculcated  basic farming and necessary livelihood skills to every child at primary level will be ‘revived’ by the Bihar government.

Many of these schools are  non-functional, and those that are now follow the Bihar government’s education system. Education minister Brishen Patel has asked the officials to fill the vacant teaching posts  and  build up infrastructure in these schools.

“Besides deputing teachers as a temporary measure, we have also been asked to prepare a separate recruitment rule for appointment of teachers and employees against the vacant posts in these schools,” an education official told a local daily.

He said the minister asked the officials to explore the possibilities of upgrading the basic schools up to higher secondary level (class 12th). The basic schools currently impart education up to class VIII.

The first Buniyadi Vidyalaya was set up by Mahatma Gandhi  in 1939 at Brindavan village in West Champaran district. After decades of neglect due to lack of teachers and necessary resources, the ‘Mahatma ke schools’, as they are popularly known in the state, have been struggling for survival.

Vocational training in majority of the buniyadi schools has stopped as they lack trained instructors, an official said. These schools used to impart training in spinning, carpentry, weaving, handicraft and farming till 1960s. Neither successive state governments took care of these institutions nor did the Centre allocate any fund to revive them.

Former CM Nitish Kumar had formed a three-member committee of senior officials comprising the then education department principal secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, then principal secretary (health) Amarjeet Sinha and disaster management department’s principal secretary Vyasji to work out a revival plan for the basic schools.

“The department is working to revive the schools as per the committee’s suggestions. Earlier, we had decided to appoint five teachers in each school, but now the number of teachers will be increased as the minister has ordered for upgrading these schools up to class XII,” the officer said.

The question is, will these schools impart peace and understanding among all communities as well as the dignity of labour and respect for the poor? Given then current quality of teachers appointed by the government, real Gandhian teaching is not going to happen here, say observers.

Share Button
Posted by on December 9, 2014. Filed under Bihar,Breaking News,EDUCATION,INDIA -WIDE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login