Post by: Priscilla Knerr Jaen
My name is Priscilla Knerr Jaen and I am a 3L serving as a student staff member with the Center for Global Justice. Working on a project for Justice Ventures International (JVI) for the first part of the semester has been enlightening. I had the opportunity to work on researching the requirements for starting a girl’s private school in the Indian state of Bihar. There are multiple boards that a school can affiliate with, which enable them to get a curriculum in common with other schools. Some standardized exams are administered by the boards, which prepare the children for application to colleges.
From a legislative standpoint, India’s central government has taken steps to ensure that elementary-aged children are educated by passing the 86th Amendment in 2002 and the Right to Education Act in 2009. Private schools were once able to raise or lower fees arbitrarily, but the government put an end to that through the 2019 Fee Regulation Act.
India and the state of Bihar have provided for government programs for education as well. Multiple schemes have been funded to ease the cost of sending children to school, some of which include the cost of uniforms, efficient sanitation equipment and bicycles for rural-area children.
One of the issues Bihar has had with its school systems has been finding qualified teachers that are willing to stay committed to showing up each day during the school year. One other issue I discovered during my research is intergenerational prostitution. In Bihar, the educational system is helping to break that cycle through the use of boarding schools. I read an article (https://vidhyaa.visura.co/bihar-boarding-school-india
) that highlighted the great work that Bihar and NGO’s are doing to ensure that more young girls have the option to create their own future, undefined by prior generations.
Allowing NGO’s to effect change alongside a state has allowed creativity from outside perspectives to work in tandem with locals from Bihar. I think the part that is so meaningful to me about that thought is the reminder that we as humans can work together to “bear one another’s burdens” by listening, learning and offering long-lasting solutions.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.