Bihar Govt Schools Asked To Hold Prayers On Loudspeakers; Sing National Anthem Everyday
All the 80,000 state-run schools in Bihar will now play school prayers and state song using loudspeakers, all thanks to the new order from the Bihar government. The schools would have to buy loudspeakers with the funds provided by the state government under the school development fund. This means that depending on the number of students, each school will now get funds from Rs 12,500 to Rs 1 lakh.
The letter stating the order was issued to all district education officers (DEOs) and district programme officers (DPOs) on August 9. Principal secretary, education, RK Mahajan stated, “…it has been decided to hold Chetna Satra/ Prarthna Sabha in all primary, middle and senior secondary schools through loudspeakers for the qualititative running of the schools,” as reported by The Indian Express.
As per the letter, the schools will now have to sing “Tu hi Ram hai Rahim hai”, which is the school prayer along with state song, “Meri raftaar pe suraj ki kiran raaj kare, aesi parwaaj de malik ki gagan raaj kare”. The letter further states that the prayer session would also include lessons on moral values, inspiring anecdotes and newspaper will also be included in the prayer session and the school will be dismissed after singing the national anthem. Reportedly, this happens to be the first time that state government has issued such order.
On being asked as to why the use of loudspeaker has been mandatory during the morning prayers, Mahajan told that it has been done so that the students living in the vicinity know about the commencement of classes and attend in time and to instil discipline in them, NDTV reported.
“The presence of principals, teaching and non-teaching staff and students is mandatory during the assembly. They should be actively involved in the assembly. They should be actively involved in the assembly activities and share thoughts and opinions on important current topics. The schools that do not have loudspeakers will ensure to have one installed on their school premises as soon as possible. Schools can avail the grant for installation of loudspeaker sets from School Development Grant Fund or School Development Fund and Pupil Fund,” Mahajan told The Times Of India.
Resource-deficient govt schools in Bihar
It is to be noted that as per a report by The Scroll, state-run schools in Bihar were in need of 75.13% more classrooms than it had as per the norms laid down by the Right to Education Act, 2009. Also, as per 2017 data, these schools were spending just Rs 5,595 per child per year against the expected Rs 18,092.
Bihar was also said to have the widest resource gap for rooms and teachers among the 12 states considered, which included Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi.
Bihar also holds the distinction of having the maximum gap between the required expenditure and the actual expenditure per student.
The Logical Indian take
Bihar state-run schools are running severely short on resources and at this time when main concentration should be at improving that, a large amount of money is being spent on buying loudspeakers. It is the duty of the concerned authorities to make sure that the funds are allocated for better purposes.