Lately, I was thinking of the change in the education system from the time I did my schooling in the 1960s to the present times. So, here is my view on schools in Patna – Now and Then.
During my days, since the period was closer to the freedom of our country patriotism was evident and the government running schools were shinning in glory. Teachers were highly qualified. Emphasis was not commercial, but on imparting less costly and affordable education to a larger section of society.
Almost my whole school education was in girls schools only. I missed the relevance and benefits of co-education school.
During my daughters time, we preferred the concept of the neighborhood school. Her education started with a private co-ed school and then in missionary girls school.
Good public, missionary and private schools co-existed. Management wise, public and missionary schools were not costly. Private schools fee varied, though were costlier than the public and missionary schools in Patna.
The curriculum followed was in accordance to Bihar Board Examination Board (imparted education in Hindi), Central Board Secondary Education and ICSC board. The syllabus was quite vast and more or less cramming was the normal norm.
The schools stressed on extra-curricular activities including emphasis on sports. Moral Science subject imparted more or less traditional values.
Now, let’s focus on the present times. Public schools are now more or less catering to the lower-income groups. Private schools are fulfilling the need of education for lower-middle, middle-middle and upper-middle groups along with elites. Private schools vary from small to big international schools, following CBSC, ICSC and International Boards. In fact, Patna has become a hub of education centres.
Mode of teaching has definitely changed for betterment. In our times cramming was essential and teaching method was not much logical and scientific. Now, small children are taught to be innovative, creative and logical. The teaching of English (emphasis on phonics), Hindi, EVS and Math in primary section is very appreciative. This new experiment with explaining the pattern of the subject is good. Environment, gender-sensitive elements are covered in the curriculum. This will definitely prepare the children to lead a better and happy life.
I confess that my write-up is based on personal experience.
I have not taken any help from a sociological survey. It should also be mentioned that public schools include the Central Schools and Navodaya Schools. Students score fairly well from public schools than private schools as well as missionary schools.
Things that need to be improved
The Right to Education is a good law. All the private, missionary and public schools are bound to admit twenty-five percent of students from economically weaker sections. But, awareness and easy accessibility of this act are necessary. More students should be enrolled under this scheme.
Overall, I am not at all satisfied with the examination system. Students, far and large learn at their own speed and tempo. I am not comfortable with the grading system. Education is meant to teach, not to grade or degrade a child.
However, schools in Patna, with all its variety and vigor, and, of course, commercialization is imparting more or less good education to cultivate good citizens. Scope of improvement is always there.
This article is written for the Now and Then series. If you want to know more about this series, then check out the previous articles on Now and Then – Parks in Patna, Greenery and Flyovers. What we, at Patna Diaries, really want to talk about in this series is the changes that our city has witnessed over the past decade.