Education is one of the most powerful instruments for development and poverty eradication. It should be made a top priority in governance, if we want development in Bihar said Dr. D. M. Diwakar while delivering the 13th Arrupe Memorial Lecture on “Emerging Challenges of Education in Bihar”, March 21, at Gandhi Sangrahalaya in Patna.
The lecture was organized by Xavier Institute of Social Research (XISR), a centre for research and action, Patna. The lecture was in honour of Prdro Arrupe, former international head of world-wide Jesuit Society which runs several universities, colleges and institutes known by its brand name ‘Xavier’.
Despite many initiatives taken up by the government of Bihar to address the dropout problem such as, appointment of teachers , incentives to students in terms of bicycle, dress and stipend, building toilets, providing drinking water facilities, etc dropout still persists.
On facing the challenges he said all stake holders of development such as government, NGOs, activists and parents should consider education as a top priority.
The state should give more budgetary allocation to education. Both quantity and quality education should be concerns. The existing programs such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-day meal Scheme, etc should be implemented earnestly. The task is to bring out-of-school children to school, retain the poor students and girls students in schools through incentives, decrease the rate of dropouts, and provide for job-oriented education, he added.
Migration of students from Bihar to other states can be stopped only when corruption free, sincere and rigorous discipline is ensure by the government, school administration and the teachers, he emphasized.
Presiding over the function, Sahitya Academy Awarded writer in Hindi, Prof of English , Patna College, Dr. Arun Kamal said knowing the challenges must lead us to take pro-active steps to increase the level of education in Bihar. The greatest gift the parents can give to their children is vidya, gyan which can be obtained through education, he added.
Among the 100 or more participants were well known activists, scholars, representatives of minority institutions and NGOs are concerned citizens.
Earlier, XISR Director Dr. Jose Kalapura welcomed the guests, threw light on Arrupe and about Xavier Institute. Mr. Praveen Madhu, associate scholar of XISR proposed the vote of thanks.