In a bizarre incident that has hugely embarrassed the NDA supported Nitish Kumar government, the Bihar Education Department has prepared a question paper for Class VII that says Kashmir is a country. According to reports, exam conducted by central government flagship Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have asked class VII students across all government schools in Bihar to name what the people of five countries – China, Nepal, England, Kashmir and India – are called.
SSA is overseen in the state by the Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC), a wing of the state education department. A student of Vaishali district pointed out the error and asked about the same. The department has admitted that it was an embarrassing incident and said that it was being rectified.
Despite decades of educational reform through various schemes such as Operation Blackboard, District Primary Education Programme (DPEP), it was realized that a vast majority of children were still out of the educational stream and efforts made by the states were insufficient to achieve universal elementary education. Hence, Congress lead UPA government conceived Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
It is centrally sponsored scheme aimed to improve the educational status in the country through interventions designed to improve accessibility, reduce gender and social gaps and improve the quality of learning. The SSA laid down a framework for achieving the goals of universal enrollment through time bound targets and was conceived in a mission mode.
But incident like these says a lot about its achievement across the country. According to different reports, the enrollment in schools have substantially increased but that has not translated into offering quality education.