Bihar: Gaya Students Struggle for Admission in Govt, Minority Schools


New Education Department directive creates confusion and hardships for students and parents

Mohammad Alamullah | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Class XI and XII students in Bihar’s Gaya are facing significant challenges in securing admissions in government and minority schools, a situation exacerbated for those completing their board (matric) education from different schools. This predicament arises from a recent directive by the Bihar Education Department mandating that schools must obtain permission from the District Officer of the Education Department before admitting students from other schools. This directive has created a complex and frustrating process for students and parents alike.

The directive stipulates that students who have passed the matriculation examination from the same school are prioritised for admission to intermediate classes. For students from other schools, the education department provides a list of eligible candidates to the institutions, which then proceed with the admissions. This intricate process has resulted in numerous problems for students seeking admission.

This academic year, the Bihar government’s education department halted intermediate education in colleges, mandating that students pursue their studies in Plus Two high schools instead. Consequently, institutions such as Mirza Ghalib College, Gaya College, Anugrah College, Jagjeon College, and others have ceased offering intermediate courses. This abrupt change has left around 25,000 students scrambling for admissions.

Financial Strain on Parents

With intermediate education discontinued in colleges, parents now face the dilemma of finding affordable alternatives. Private schools charge exorbitant fees, ranging from 80,000 to 100,000 rupees annually, which is beyond the financial capacity of many families. Approximately 60,000 male and female students from Gaya appeared in the matriculation exam this year, with a similar number of students appearing from CBSE backgrounds.

Muslim students, in particular, face compounded difficulties. Minority schools such as Hadi Hashmi Senior Secondary Plus Two School, Qasmi Plus Two High School, and an Urdu Girls High School in Gaya offer education up to intermediate level but lack commerce courses. Hadi Hashmi School, for instance, has only 250 seats across two subjects. The preference for these schools stems from their urban location, allowing students to simultaneously pursue other educational opportunities in the city.

Dr. Nafasat Karim, Principal of Hadi Hashmi School, commented: “This directive from the Education Department does not clearly apply to minority institutions, which traditionally manage their own admissions. However, due to a lack of clear guidelines, we are experiencing significant difficulties in offering admission to students.” Adding to the complexity, 10th-pass students from CBSE schools are also seeking admission in these minority institutions but are being turned away due to the directive. Dr. Karim highlighted the need for the government to reconsider its policy. “The government should increase the number of seats in all subjects in Plus Two schools and hire more teachers. Eliminating 11th and 12th standards from colleges without proper arrangements is not a prudent move.”

Right to Education Concerns

Experts and educators are voicing concerns over this directive, arguing that it infringes on students’ rights to choose their educational institutions. They stress that the successful implementation of any educational reform requires viable alternatives. Despite ongoing applications for admissions, many schools have yet to complete their processes as they await further instructions from the Education Department.

Schools are currently in a quandary, unsure how to proceed with admissions. District Education Officer Om Prakash acknowledged the issue but noted that he had not received a report on the number of students admitted or the specific rules for admitting students from other schools. He stated, “We are awaiting further instructions. A meeting through video conference is scheduled, after which more clarity will be provided.”

Broader Implications

The directive’s impact extends beyond just the students and schools. It has broader implications for the education system in Bihar, highlighting the need for comprehensive planning and clear communication. Parents, students, and school administrators are calling for immediate action to resolve the confusion and ensure a smooth transition to the new system.

The situation in Gaya is a microcosm of the larger educational challenges facing Bihar. The state’s education department must address these issues promptly to avoid long-term disruption in students’ academic progress. The need for increased seats, better teacher allocation, and clear guidelines cannot be overstated.

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