Historically, Bihar has been a major centre of learning, home to the ancient universities of Nalanda, Odantapurā and Vikramshila. This tradition of learning may have been had stultified by the period of Turkic invasions c. 1000 CE at which point it is believed major education centres (now maintained by reclusive communities of Buddhist monks removed from the local populace) were put out of operation during the Turkic raids originating from central Asia . The current state of education and research is not satisfactory though the current state government claims big achievements in school education.
Bihar saw a revival during the later part of the British rule when they established a University at Patna along with other centres of high learning, viz. Science College, Patna, Prince of Wales Medical College (Now Patna Medical College and Hospital), and Bihar Engineering College (Now National Institute of Technology, Patna). This early lead was lost in the post-independence period when the politicians from Bihar lost out in the race of getting centres of education established in Bihar.
Modern Bihar has an inadequate educational infrastructure creating a huge mismatch between demand and supply. This problem is further compounded by increases in population. The craving for higher education among the general population of Bihar has led to a migration of the student community from the state. This has led to a “flooding” of students to seek educational opportunities in other states, such as New Delhi and Karnataka, even for graduation level college education
In spite of the meager investment on education in Bihar, compared to other poorer Indian states, the students have done well. National institutes of learning such as IIT, IIM and AIIMS, IISER, NISER have had a good representation from Bihar.
Primary Education in Bihar:
Free and compulsory basic education is enshrined in Indian constitution for all children up to the age of 14 years. Both central and state government is expanding different initiative enrollment of the students in the primary school to achieve universal enrollment of the children in the school. Sarv Siksha Abhiyaan is the latest initiative by the central government for achieving the target of universal enrollment.
Bihar has around 54000 primary schools and around 1000 private owned primary schools. An average of 91 students in a single classroom demands the need of more infrastructures in primary schools. Only 3% of primary schools have computer facilities compared to 61% in Kerala. More than 100% schools have single teacher. There is marked gender gap in enrolment of students. The primary schools in Bihar currently faces issues regarding infrastructure, number of teachers, quality of teachers and de-enrolment of students.
Higher Education in Bihar:
For providing higher education in Bihar, there are many universities and colleges. However, the number of higher educational institute is alarming low compared to the demand. The demand leads to major movement of Bihar students to other parts of the countries.
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