Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was in for a surprise on Saturday when an 11-year-old boy, a student of class 6, approached him while he was interacting with people and pleaded with him to get him admitted into a private school since the quality of education in the local government school where he studies is dismal.
A video clip of the incident, which happened at Kumar’s native village of Kalyanbigha in Nalanda district where he had gone to attend the death anniversary of his wife, has since been circulating on social media.
“Sir! Listen Na Pranaam…I want to study. Please help me. The teachers do not know how to give quality education at the government school of Neema Kaul,” he told the CM and pleaded with him to get him admitted in a private school.
The confidence of the 11-year-old boy impressed the CM who instructed officials to make arrangement for his studies.
Later, the boy, Sonu said his father Ranvijay Yadav works as a curd seller. “He consumes alcohol with whatever he earns or I earn. I don’t have money to attend a private school,” he told reporters.
Sonu said he gives tuitions to 40 children of up to class 5. “If the government helps me, I also want to become an IAS-IPS officer,” he said.
According to a report released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2021, a total of 56% (amounting to 2.2 lakh) teaching positions in government schools are lying vacant in Bihar, of which 89% are in rural areas, which is the highest in the country.
Bihar also has a poor student-teacher ratio. According to official figures, Bihar has 72,663 government schools, including 42,573 primary, 25,587 upper primary, 2,286 secondary and 2,217 senior secondary schools.
The state government has expedited the process of appointing 1.25 lakh teachers in the state. “The boy’s assertion speaks volumes about education and Prohibition in Bihar,” said Congress leader Anand Madhab.