The country is already having some models of schools such as Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Kasturba Gandhi Kanya Vidyalayas that are faring wonderfully well. It would have better if these can be located in rural Bihar. The centre has also plans for setting up 6000 model schools. Under the scheme, the centre or some from private sector under PPP mode will have a model school at each block headquarters. The state must demand its share as fast as possible and facilitate the programme proactively. Each school will have up to 2,500 seats. The Centre will sponsor a maximum of 1,000 students. For the rest of the 1,500-odd seats, the private management can charge as much it decides.
The Bihar government must approach the departments concerned at the centre for getting more such schools, as many as possible, in Bihar without any bias. Instead of getting some new models of school, Bihar must see the possibility of replicating these models.
Bihar must improve the quality of education at primary school level and that too in its rural regions. With so poor urbanization, if the rural schools don’t get proper and regular monitoring, Bihar will lag behind. It is only through quality education that the deprived categories of the society, be it Dalit or Mahadalit or the minority, can surely come out of poverty.
The Bihar government will have to take up the mission of education on the same footing as it took up for the alleviation of polio. It will have to reach each and every individual to have universal education through 100 percent enrolment and no dropout till the student gets skilled in at least one employable trade.
The preschool care will require special attention. It will be interesting that toddler engineering and management is getting special attention for the educationists all over the world.
Vijay Govindarajan, the Earl C Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, suggests in an article recently using everyday analogies to teach pre-kindergarten 4-5 years children engineering concepts. He has based it on the findings of innovator and thinker George Land.
“In 1968, George Land gave eight tests of creative thinking to children between three and five years old. He found that 98 per cent of them scored in the creative genius category. When the same children took identical tests five years later, only 32 per cent scored that high. Five years later, it was down to 10 per cent. Two lakh adults over the age of 25 have taken the same tests and only 2 per cent scored at the creative genius level. In his co-authored book Breakpoint and Beyond, Land says that the “socialisation process restricts the natural creativity of our thinking potential by assigning value judgments… our proficiency in expressing our creativity gradually drops off as we learn to accept others’ opinions, evaluations and beliefs”.
As Late Prof Indresan pleaded, the proper way to get SC and ST students into higher education was not through quotas but through quality education from primary school itself.
When the world is going ahead so far, how can we afford to lag behind? Anganbari workers need a lot of training and retraining to take care of the preschool toddlers even in rural India. These preschool must go in the vicinity of the habitations of the deprived communities in rural Bihar.