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The state of Gandhi's dream schools
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 03, 2007 10:39 IST
Basic schools set up by Mahatma Gandhi [Images] in Bihar's West Champaran district are languishing without enough teachers and funds.
In addition, powerful musclemen hold possession of the land illegally.
Some of the 29 state-run Mahatma ka schools, as they are known till date, do not even have a single teacher.
Take for instance a basic school that stands at Brindaban area of Champaran. "This school has no teachers, it manage with over half a dozen volunteers from the Gandhi Smriti Darshan that also provide annual grants of Rs 18000 to run it," S K Jha, a local told rediff.com on Tuesday.
Jha said the Brindaban was the first basic school set up by Mahatma Gandhi in 1939. "It is the only basic school that still sticking to Gandhi's curriculum but in disarray," Jha said.
He said that in most cases, the land on which these schools stand has been leased to people for as little as Rs 25 to 30, and are under illegal possession.
Sources in the district education office said that at present there are 136 teachers against the sanctioned post of over 430 teachers. "In the last one year, over one lakh primary teachers were recruited by state government but not a single teacher was appointed for Gandhi's basic schools," sources said.
A senior government official in education department admitted that these schools are being neglected for years.
It was in Champaran that Mahatma Gandhi launched his first satyagraha in India against the British rule.
On paper though, the Nitish Kumar government says it is planning to revive Gandhi's basic schools as part of the Common School System that the state government wants to adopt and implement.
According to the official, common school system commission's focus will be to develop these schools within the framework of the CSS.