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 admission into a private school since the quality of education in the local government school he studies was dismal.
A video clip of the incident, which happened at CM 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.
The chief minister has instructed his aides to make arrangement for the boy’s studies, a person present at the event said.
Talking to TV news channels later, the boy, Sonu of Neema Kaul of Harnaut block, 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 5th. “If the government helps me, I also want to become an IAS-IPS officer,” he said.
As per the 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.
Recently, 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.