Bihar govt to tie up with IIT-P to develop science labs in 50 model schools

Published on Mar 13, 2022 10:21 PM IST

The Bihar government is all set to tie up with the Indian Institute of Technology (Patna) for setting up science laboratories in the 50 model higher secondary schools in two phases at an estimated cost of ₹79,649,900, said director, secondary education, Manoj Kumar.

A view of IIT -Patna (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
A view of IIT -Patna (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

PATNA: The Bihar government is all set to tie up with the Indian Institute of Technology (Patna) for setting up science laboratories in the 50 model higher secondary schools in two phases at an estimated cost of 79,649,900, said director, secondary education, Manoj Kumar, adding that a memorandum in this regard with IIT-Patna will be signed soon.

In the first phase, science laboratories would be set up in Patna-based seven model higher secondary schools, where students’ enrolment is high. A sum of 10,531,400 has been earmarked for it.

In the second phase, 43 model schools will be equipped with the facility across the state at an estimated cost of 69,118,500.

The move is significant as there has been a huge shortage of teachers of science subject as well as adequate lab facilities in the government schools, even as the government has embarked on an ambitious exercise to ensure one higher secondary school in every panchayat. “As a result, as they move to colleges, they usually face a huge gap. The scientific temper is developed in class 9-12 stage and hence it is a positive move by the government to prepare students at that stage with lab work, but it needs to be a prerequisite in all secondary and higher secondary schools. It makes science learning interesting and absorbing,” said a teacher of Patna University.

Bihar had taken a decision in 2013 to open a higher secondary school in every panchayat. The state has 8,387 panchayats, while the government has started 6,421 higher secondary schools in panchayats which had none by setting up new ones or upgrading existing middle schools. The total number of higher secondary schools now in the state is 9,360, though adequate infrastructure and teachers’ strength is still lacking in many of them.

During a review meeting earlier this month, chief minister Nitish Kumar had also said that efforts should be expedited to meet the requirement of teachers and infrastructure in a phased manner so that the students could avail quality higher education within the panchayat itself. Later, education minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said in the Legislative Assembly about the government’s efforts to strengthen higher secondary education in the state.

The Director, secondary education, said that the need to improve science education in schools and equip them with modern labs was being felt and therefore 50 model schools with proper infrastructure and good students’ enrolment have been identified for setting up modern labs. “The government decided to use the expertise of IIT and NIT to improve the condition and discussions have also been held. The MoU will soon be signed,” he added.

He said that the plan for other schools would be worked out later, as by that time teachers’ recruitment would also be completed. “The sixth phase recruitment has also stopped mid-way due to court order. We will also move the court for relief. After that, the seventh phase will also be completed to meet the requirement of teachers. For science teaching, science labs are important and so we will see how to go about it to ensure that all higher secondary schools have proper facilities,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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