The Bihar Education Department has come under criticism for striking off the names of over 20 lakh students from government schools. This move was initiated to address the issue of absenteeism and improve attendance.
Among those whose names have been removed are 2.66 lakh students who were supposed to appear for class 10 and 12 board exams.
The Education department began this drive to enhance student attendance on September 1, 2023, following instructions from KK Pathak, Additional Chief Secretary of the Education department.
Drastic Measures Ordered
- Pathak’s instructions included expulsion of students who remain absent for 15 consecutive days and tracking students who are enrolled in government schools but study elsewhere, availing benefits of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme for textbooks and uniforms.
- Critics argue that this decision is dictatorial and that the department should address the fundamental issues in government schools first, such as a shortage of teachers and classroom space.
- Opposition leaders and student associations demand the immediate withdrawal of the Education department’s order and the restoration of the enrollments of the students whose names have been removed.
- The government’s actions are seen as a response to the serious shortcomings in the education system in Bihar, with concerns about the quality of education and infrastructure in government schools.
- The department cited concerns about students enrolling in government schools for the sole purpose of availing benefits from the DBT scheme, and this led to the decision to cancel enrollments for such cases.