In a quest to revive the falling standard of Indian Education, the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) officer to India, Kumar Deepak torches up the need of ‘Siksha Satyagraha’ particularly for the states like Bihar and Jharkhand where the basic amenities to a good education are lingering at the bottom.
While delivering his talk on ‘Siksha Satyagraha’ he attracted the attention of intellectuals towards the basic motive of education. He affirmed that education is a pivotal learning process which brings an overall development in the society. We need not restrict it by the shackles of caste, religion, creed and gender-based heterogeneity. India is one of the countries trailing in literacy (68.56%) and gender parity index (112/156) even after 73 years of Independence. Many United Nations reports since the recent past have out spotted India as the hinterland of dismal growth in its education sector.
Defining the ‘Siksha Satyagraha’
‘Siksha Satyagraha’ is a vivid term that needs not any introduction but somehow its relevance increases when we talk about equal access to education for all. The term ‘Satyagraha’ was first coined by Gandhiji in the late 1920s which he described as an eternal approach towards truth. The same ‘Satyagraha’ is nowadays needed to reform the education system in India. It’s neither an apprising nor a revolt but an awareness campaign based on truth which draws the attention of government agencies towards the basic necessities of education. Through ‘Siksha Satyagraha’ we can mirror out the loopholes in educational infrastructure and can bring them on the table for further attention.
‘Siksha Satyagraha’ in Bihar: Understanding the Need
Bihar is one of the states trailing continuously in its Human Development Index (HDI). Be it the education, health or employment. Its dismal growth in all these factors has now become a concern not only for India but for the global diaspora. The recent ‘School Education Index’ published by Niti-Aayog (Think tank agency of Central Government) has ranked Bihar 19th out of the 20 Indian states (so included in the survey) with Kerala on the top. It has also performed poorly on its Sustainable Development Goals with a credit rating of only 36 points out of 100. The report has calculated the ‘School Education Index’ based on three major outcomes which include: learning, access to schools and infrastructure. In terms of infrastructure and facilities to access education, its contribution is limited only up to 10.50% This is indeed an alarming figure for such a densely packed state which claims that an average of 6.2% of its SGDP (States Gross Domestic Product) is spent on education yearly.