Education in India – HP Board of School Education
Himachal Pradesh is a state of northern India. It is bordered by Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, Tibet, Haryana, and Uttarakhand. It is known for its overwhelming beauty and was once called “Devabhoomi” meaning the abode of the Gods. It is home to thousands of temples and each year thousands of adherents of many faiths visit the region for pilgrimage, however, the state is predominantly Hindu.
Himachal Pradesh is the third fastest growing economy in India; furthermore, it is one of the wealthiest regions in all of south Asia. Its main economic activities are hydroelectric power, agriculture, and tourism. A transparency survey has also revealed that it is the second-least corrupt state in India.
Himachal Pradesh is home to many prestigious institutions like NIT and IIT, which are globally recognized as extremely competitive and excellent institutions rivaled only by MIT and similar institutions. It is also home to CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalya Palampur, which is one of the most internationally-recognized hill agriculture institutions.
The state is also famous for being home to some of the fiercest warriors in recorded history; the Gurkhas. A chief of army staff Field Marshal Manekshaw once said of the Gurkhas, “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.” Gurkhas are known worldwide for their bravery:
Bishnu Shrestha, a 35 year old retired Gurkha soldier, was on a train riding home to his small mountain village when 40 gun-toting robbers stopped the train. They appeared to only want valuables. Shrestha decided that a few possessions were not worth losing his life, so he willingly handed them over, however, everything changed when one of the robbers grabbed an 18 year old girl with the intent to violate her.
Shrestha unsheathed his khukuri and defeated three robbers. Then it became total chaos. Shrestha just wanted to save the girl, but then his training and instinct kicked in. In the small cabin of the train, the seasoned soldier easily destroyed and horrified the band of thugs. They dropped their loot and fled.
Shrestha managed to walk away from the fight with only a few scrapes and one bad cut that was resolved in two months. Shrestha was offered a substantial cash reward by the girl’s family, but he refused. He said of the incident, “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier. Taking on the thugs on the train was my duty as a human being.”
As Kartikeya Sharma points out, the rapid and steady economic growth experienced by the state has brought sweeping and aggressive reforms and efforts. There are currently three nursing colleges being developed and constructed to support the goals of the healthcare system.
Himachal is also the first state in India to make primary education accessible to every child. There are currently over ten thousand primary schools, and more are being established every year.
The Himachal school board also offers IT integration within the school system. There are services for examination activities and more throughout the system. There is excellent infrastructure to track each student within the system, and to control participation in the system that has not adhered to the established standards. There are thousands of schools in existence within the state, but only 8,000 are affiliated with the board.
There are certain standards of practice, facility quality, and state program design, administration, and more required for affiliation. Only those which comply are allowed affiliation; furthermore, students that do not receive their education from affiliated institutions are not permitted to sit for state exams. This ensures that the system is serving the student properly.
Affiliated schools are those that meet the standards detailed in HPBoSE regulations. The regulations clearly define the areas of compliance. Some of these standards are clean, well-lit facilities with adequate space for each student, and a limitation on the number of students that may be in each classroom. Another regulation is that instructors meet the national standards for educators.
The regulations of the board also require primary schools to have playgrounds. They require a properly supplied and furnished library. They also require proper facilities and equipment for schools with scientific, technical, or vocational subjects in their curriculum. The equipment required for those offering physics courses, exactly as described in the regulations, follows:
“Vernier caliper, Screw Gauge, Parallelogram law apparatus, Grave sand apparatus, Sonometer, Tuning Forks, Rubber pads, Pendulum, Stopwatch, Hookes law apparatus, Inclined plane, Meter and Half meter scales, Beaker, Calorimeter, Spherometer, Prism, Drawing Board, Optical Bench, Concave Mirror, Convex Mirror, Concave Lens, Convex lens, Connecting wires, sand papers, Pins, Ammeters, Voltmeters, Rheostats, Logic Gate apparatus, Galvanometers, Resistance’s Cods, Resistance Boxes, Batteries, P.N Junction diode characteristic apparatus, Daniel cell, Leclanche Cell, Meter Bridge, Potentiometer.”
HPBoSE schools are also not permitted to conduct commercial activities such as selling uniforms. Schools who violate this will have their affiliation canceled.
HPBoSE schools are required to obey safety standards such as firefighter training for all instructors and students, safety exercises/drills, maintenance of all electrical equipment, and much more.
There are also restrictions on how the school building is constructed; for example, primary and nursery schools are not permitted to have more than two floors. All building codes must be satisfied. Regular fire safety inspections must be conducted.
HPBoSE has a zero tolerance policy for ragging. Students risk three-year expulsion and criminal charges if they participate in ragging.
The future of Himachal Pradesh is bright. Its economy is rapidly growing and expanding, and its governing bodies seem committed to ensuring that this wealth is heavily invested in education, and the future of India. The standards created by HPBoSE are high, loving, and progressive. They have established an excellent model and design for all other boards to follow, including boards abroad.