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The Bihar B Ed Admission Crisis

This year in 2018, a first-ever centralized test was conducted by the Nalanda Open University (NOU), on behalf of the Bihar government for admission into 322 B.Ed colleges across the state. Prescribed by the previous governor of Bihar, Satyapal Malik, as it was publicized in the media, the combined entrance test (CET) was done in order to tame the B.Ed colleges which have been reduced to mere money-making business; some of them being run by powerful people in politics too. They charge more than the prescribed money for admission and yet, they churn out incompetent teachers.

bihar bed admission crisis minority college nou sc nitish

The Crisis

After conducting the test and announcing result of the same, NOU held counselling of the CET candidates to allot appropriate colleges to them according to their marks. In the result, around 62000 candidates were declared as qualified, and 36440 among them were invited for the counselling held in Gyan Bhawan, Patna. The counselling was merely for document verification and submission. The college allotment happened online making the process more transparent, something which was not expected of Bihar.

Everything has been good so far, so what went wrong which gave it a watermark of a typical Bihari exam? It is the callous attitude of the personnel who were in charge of NOU. The lazy government officials who approved & uploaded the “revised and final” college selection list, in particular. The list was the source of the trouble, the list that included colleges over which the state has no control.

First, it was government colleges who were denying students admission citing reasons that they aren’t supposed to conduct B.Ed course for regular graduates, they’re only training for the present cadre of untrained teachers in service, the ones became a teacher after qualified TET exam only. They fall under the SCERT which had not issued any such order so far. The SCERT, in turn, falls under the state government. So, being fully run by the government, these colleges were directed to take in whatever students NOU has sent to them — in order to save the government from embarrassment.

But then came the major trouble, which is rooted in the “great religion war” in the “secular India”, when some minority colleges refused to take admission of candidates selected by the NOU. These "special colleges" have declared a war against exam conducting body NOU with their firm stance of not admitting any aspirants in their "reputed colleges". Because they're for the minorities and by the minorities, they must be given a “special” treatment. Doesn't matter if they're corrupt, they should, in fact, be given a free hand to corruption. That's why they are out of the exam meant to put a slight restriction on the rampant corruption prevalent in the state. The religion wars always make its way to the Supreme Court, this case was no exception. NOU, after sending legal notices to the concerned colleges, went SC but the matter only deteriorated further.

Whose Fault?

Nalanda Open University, minority colleges, government, or the apex court? So far not anyone among these seems to have acted taking the students welfare into consideration. NOU says they just conducted a fair entrance exam and counselling for admission in the B Ed colleges. They, in fact, did that. Minority colleges acted as per their whims and the dirty money. The government has not acted at all, instead taken a backseat. And the Supreme Court (with due honour) has failed to see the trauma and harassment, B.Ed aspirants have been going through.

The case went to the Hon'ble SC and that created more trouble. Earlier the admission seekers were able to build pressure on the college, NOU, and the Raj Bhavan. Things got screwed as the case went to the court. Now every one of them says that things are not in their hands, and whatever needs to be done will be decided by the court. That the matter is sub judice.

The admission process has become a mess with the arrogance of Minority college, NOU and the Judiciary. The second counselling could have solved this mess and end the trouble for students, colleges, NOU, and minority colleges. But the SC has banned further admission altogether even though more than 14000 seats are reported to be vacant.

NOU B Ed students letter to the supreme court

WhatsApp Group

B.Ed aspirants are spending their days (sometimes night as well) venting anger against NOU on the popular messaging app, Whatsapp. Many groups were formed by the aggrieved B.Ed aspirants after the mess admission. But unlike pro students’ political bodies, the students union, there is a lack of unity and leadership in case of the B.Ed CET WhatsApp group. Those who regularly go to NOU to get updates about the mess get angry with those who prefer to remain in their comfort zone and not engage in a direct confrontation with the people in authority.

4-year B.Ed programme

There were revolts for the two-year B.Ed program when it was introduced, both by the students who want to pursue the course in one year and the colleges offering it. But gradually, the revolt faded. Now the government has decided to double it, to extend it to 4 years. HRD Ministry has already sent the proposal for a 4-year B.Ed program to the NCTE.

The 4-year B.Ed program might be good for the younger students, the ones who will be giving board exams this year, but it would be a grave injustice to all those who have already completed their graduation and want to become a teacher. It applies to graduates all over India. There should be a parallel B.Ed course running for the graduates, too. If they care But, sadly, no one does.

Final Remark

It is interesting to note that Bihar government is staying away as if the CET has nothing to do with the government's decision. The SC ought to see the plight of the students who are finding themselves to be sandwiched between minority colleges and NOU. Just because the law is on their side, doesn't imply minority colleges are on the right side. Also, there are several students who have been waiting for the second round of admission so that they can get admission in their home state and not have to move to other states where they are treated as second-class citizens. If their government do not listen to them, they can’t expect others to be kind toward them. Last, but not the least  It is the students who are suffering in the battle for honour. It is students who are feeling cheated. It is students whose session is delayed. It is certainly the students whose future is at stake.


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