More than half of those in 1st phase fray school drop-outs

  • Saurav Roy, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Nov 24, 2014 16:33 IST

Over 60% of the candidates in fray for the 13 assembly seats in the first phase of Jharkhand assembly elections have never gone to college, according to nomination information with the Election Commission of India.

Out of the total of 199 candidates, 81 have mentioned in their nomination papers that they quit studies before the 12th grade.

As many as 13 candidates have not passed Class 5 and 44 have not done matriculation.

Only a fifth of the fray has said that it passed the 12th grade.

An education sector NGO's report Annual Status of Education Report estimated three-quarters of the students in Class 4 and 65% of Class 5 students fail to read textbooks meant for second graders.

Civil society organisations and the child rights commission here have been stressing the need of educated leaders who understand the requirements of the youths and children in order to improve the poor scenario of education in the state.

However, political parties, it seems have kept the education quotient aside while judging eligibility of their candidates.

Members of the Jharkhand State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (JSCPCR) feel a particular impact is seen on the implementation of Right to Education (RTE) and child rights that remain laggard in Jharkhand.

"This is the reason why questions related to child rights and education are not raised in the Vidhan Sabha resulting in negligence towards children...," said Sanjay Mishra, senior member, JSCPCR.

"It is a pity that the political parties don't consider basic education as one of the eligibility criteria for an assembly ticket."

Civil society organisations also feel that lack of education becomes a deterrent in understanding administrative functioning.

Political parties, however, say that legislators should primarily connect with the people and work for holistic development of their constituency.

They say that qualification cannot decide the worth of a leader.

"Qualification is not even a parameter to judge a candidate," said a senior JMM leader who did not want to be named.

"The party fields winnable candidates who are popular in the area," he added.

Senior BJP leader Saryu Rai said, "Basic education is a necessity and the party must try and field candidates who are educated."

Of the 199 candidates 86 are under the age of 40 years, 69 are aged between 41 to 50 years and the remaining are 51 and above.

Election for the 81 assembly seats in Jharkhand will be conducted in five phases starting November 25.

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