Friday, 6 July 2007

Revamping of Education in Biharby Nirmal Kumar, Reader
Department of History
Sri Venkateswara College, New Delhi

December 18, 2005

It is through your website that I wish to convey to the new Bihar Government of the urgent need to improve the higher education. At present lakhs of Bihari students migrate to Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and elsewhere to get higher education. That means loss of millions of rupees to these states, but earned in Bihar. Had the higher education been better, these students would have spent their hard earned money in Bihar. They would have bought books, registers, pens, food stuffs, clothes and travel needs in Bihar. Instead they are getting targeted by Shiv Sena goons in Pune and anti Bihari feelings in Delhi.

A simple improvement in higher education would entail revised and updated syllabus, teaching vacancies filled up, well stocked libraries and labs, ample sports facilities, seminars and conferences round the year, and fair and timely examinations. Not a very difficult task to accomplish. All it needs are funds and some political will.

English must be made the medium of instruction at all levels so that the average Bihari student is able to enter the competitive world market in IT. For that, it may also be essential to have computer education at all levels. We can not afford to miss the IT bus. Bihar with large number of public schools breeds a good number of students who can speak good English. Naturally they can have the pie of BPO boom.

The new government will also have to set up many medical and engineering colleges to stop this drain to Maharashtra and Karnataka. The beginning seems to have made when Birlas are planning to open one engineering college in Bihar, I know of some other educational barons who would be interested in opening colleges in the state. That must be encouraged and they must be give hassle free one window clearance may be at the level of Chief Ministers' office.

While I am not competent to comment on the state of education in Bihar, I wish to touch upon your opinion on the emphasis on English. I was a medical student at the JIPMER, Pondicherry in the eighties. There were a sprinkling of Bihari students. All of them adjusted well to the different academic environment at the prestigious institute. Most of them made up for their lack of proficiency in English by sheer hard work. Those fluent in the language either schooled in Delhi or other major cities and thrived in the liberal academic climate then. Only one, a dear friend I still call my Bihari brother, had to drop out because his English was so poor that even after five years he still had no proper grasp of the language despite all the help we gave him. I have often wondered if only he had had the benefit of English medium schooling.

For the record no Bihari or any other student has ever been discriminated in Pondicherry either within the institute or by the warm and friendly Tamils of Pondicherry. As a Malaysian I can vouch for that. Perhaps now is the time for the competent education authorities in Bihar to seriously implement English statewide so that no smart Bihari will ever be disadvantaged by merely the lack of proficiency in one language.- Dr Ignatius Joseph - Dec. 19, 2005

I am all for Biharis learning English, but NEVER at the cost of Hindi. An unenlightened approach to lap up English can lead to lapping up of a lot of nonsense that people with hidden agendas have tagged along with the English language. While adopting winning qualities from the Western world, concerted efforts must be made to preserve the wonderful traditions of our culture. A culture where divorces are rarer than the horns of an ass. A culture that does not have to deal with the debris of failed marriages and of people living empty lives that result from broken marriages.

Learn English, better than the Englishmen - to earn a living. Speak Hindi, to talk to a friend, to talk to your spouse, your children and to listen to radio and TV. Language is a major part of a peoples' character... And as we all know.."... if character is lost, everything is lost. - Arecee - Dec. 21, 2005


Dear Nirmal jee, I do agree with you. Revamping education will bring Bihar into lightened track and achieve the glorious past.

Bihar needs revolution in the education sector, stop brain drain and uplift poor and intelligent brains of Bihar. Not only the government, but NGOs, NRIs, Trusts and industrialists should come forward for building a new Bihar but certainly government has to improve law and order, good governance must be achieved. Communication is not at all a problem when we have good education system. - Bibhuti Bikramaditya - Dec. 21, 2005


Nirmal Ji is right and wrong. I think we need a balance of English and Hindi. Do not let go of your own language but do impart more teaching in English. - Vivek - Dec. 22, 2005


I read the comments of all the people on this forum and wish to highlight the following:

There is a culture of dowry so much prevalent in Bihar that all the educated who can talk in English and hold high post in Govt. and non government organisations who are the so called the leaned elite take pride in taking the highest amount for his caliber.

It is better to posses some social morality rather than to know English acquire high degrees and then succumb to the greatest evils of society that is dowry.

The so called learned people of Bihar state and their parents , I swear do not posses an inkling of remorse for asking for dowry and then torturing the poor woman if her father promises and then is unable to provide.

This may be common in all states but it is very rampant in Bihar.

There are people who also offer dowry for instance a father of a girl will offer high dowry because it is his status symbol but what about father of girls who are middle class?

I must say that before we get down to teach and learn English, we must first imbibe social responsibilities and traits which will help shape the future of our state rather than starting it up with English. - Sanjay - Dec. 22, 2005

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