Education in Bihar
Bihar, India, has been a major centre of learning, home to the universities of Nalanda (one of the earliest universities of India dating back to the fifth century) and Vikramshila. That tradition of learning which had its origin from the time of Buddha or perhaps earlier, was lost during the medieval period when it is believed that marauding armies of the invaders destroyed these centres of learning.
Bihar saw a revival during the later part of the British rule when they established a University at Patna along with other centres of high learning, viz. Science College, Patna, Prince of Wales Medical College (Now Patna Medical College and Hospital), and Bihar Engineering College (Now National Institute of Technology, Patna). This early lead was lost in the post independence period when the politicians from Bihar lost out in the race of getting centres of education established in Bihar.
In 60s major educational reforms were implemented to streamline the education structure of state by the then education minister & educationist late Satender Narain Sinha;however the phenomenal changes were short-lived as the successive governments failed to implement it
Modern Bihar has an inadequate educational infrastructure creating a huge mismatch between demand and supply. This problem is further compounded by increases in population. The craving for higher education among the general population of Bihar has led to a migration of the student community from the state. This has led to a "flooding" of students to seek educational opportunities in other states, such as New Delhi and Karnataka, even for graduation level college education. Researchers found out that 37.8% of Bihar's teachers could not be found during unannounced visits to schools, the worst teacher absence rate in India and one of the worst in the world.
In spite of the meager investment on education in Bihar, compared to other poorer Indian states, the students have done well. National institutes of learning such as IIT, IIM and AIIMS, IISER, NISER have had a good representation from Bihar. A survey by Pratham rated the absorption of their teaching by the Bihar children better than those in other states.
According to the government, out-of-school rate in the age group 6-14 was 6.3% in 2007, a big drop from 12.8 per cent in 2006.
From the British times, Bihar has had a system of district schools (called Zila schools), located at the headquarters of the older districts of Bihar. In addition, there were private and semi aided schools which were run and administered by local village communities. Several of them were known for their high quality education.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the state government took over management of most privately run schools. This adversely affected school education in the state since the state government was ill equipped to manage the schools through its bureaucrats who were trained for law and order duties. Though the state accorded them government recognition, the standard started to fall. The state did not take over the schools run by the Christian missionaries and these schools provided a fillip to quality education in Bihar.
As in other states, the central government runs a number of Kendriya Vidyalayas (Central Schools) and Jawahar Navodaya Schools for rural students. Jawahar Navodaya Schools started by the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi have been successful in providing quality education to the weaker sections of the society.
The number of private schools, including school-chains and Missionary Schools run by Christian Missionaries as well as Madrasas, or schools run by Muslim clerics, has increased in the post liberalisation era.
Most of the schools in Bihar are affiliated with the Bihar School Examination Board, while the Kendriya Vidyalay and a few other elite schools including the Christian Missionary Schools are affiliated to the ICSE and CBSE boards. A recent survey by National University of Educational Planning & Administration (NUEPA) has determined that only 21% of all primary school teachers in Bihar have completed the matriculation; or 10-th standard.
In spite of the poor condition of schools in Bihar, students from there are performing satisfactorily with respect to other economically better off states of India thanks to the law of affirmative action which provides for reservations in jobs and education for people of backward classes.
Patna has emerged as one of the major center of learning in India. Schools in Patna are either run by the state government or run by private trusts, organisations, missionaries. Government schools are affiliated with the Bihar School Examination Board and most private schools are affiliated with the ICSE, CBSE or NIOS boards. Some of the prominent old schools Patna like St. Joseph's Convent, St. Michael's High School, St. Xavier's School, were established by missionaries during the British Raj . Patna imparts education in fields like technology, medicine, management, law and fashion. Institutions of national repute have opened up in Patna increasing the opportunities in higher education in the state capital. Colleges such as Indian Institute of Technology Patna, Birla Institute of Technology, Patna and National Institute of Technology, Patna are the prominent engineering colleges in Patna. Other colleges include the newly opened National Institute of Fashion Technology Patna and medical schools such as Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna Medical College and Hospital and Nalanda Medical College and Hospital. Anugrah Narayan College and B N College are among the best known colleges for commerce and humanities besides for a range of PG courses.
After coming to power, the Nitish Kumar led government opened the Chanakya National Law University, a national law university and a B-school called Chandragupt Institute of Management. Both these institutes have attracted students from not just within Bihar but also students from far flung states. A N Sinha Institute of Social Sciences, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute, Bihar Research Institute are the research institutes in Patna. The Patna University, the first university in Bihar, was established in 1917, and is the 7th oldest university of the Indian subcontinent. Patna also houses one of India's world-renowned libraries, the Khuda Baksh Oriental Library and the Sinha Library, which is one of the largest in the region.
As on date, there are six engineering colleges for boys and one for girls in public sector and nine others in the private sector in Bihar. The overall annual intake of these technical institutes offering engineering education to students in Bihar is merely 4,559. As it is, the seventh engineering college of the state government would start its first session this from July 2012 at Chhapra, while the process to create infrastructure for three new engineering colleges—one each at Madhepura, Begusarai and Sitamarhi—has started. Bihar government is also supposed to launch new medical college in Bihar. 
Engineering and civil services
Patna haso emerged as a major center for engineering and civil services coaching. The major private IIT-JEE coaching institutes have opened up their branches in Bihar and this has reduced the number of students who go to, for example, Kota and Delhi for engineering/medical coaching. Engineering colleges in Bihar at present are:
- Azmet Institute of Technology, Kishanganj
- Bhagalpur College of Engineering, Bhagalpur - Offers ITI & Medical Science Programs
- Bivha International School , Simrahi Bazar Supaul
- BIT Mesra Extension Centre, Patna
- Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology, Hajipur(Cipet)
- College of Agricultural Engg, Pusa, Samastipur
- Darbhanga Engineering College, Darbhanga
- Gaya Engineering College, Gaya
- Indian Institutes of Technology, Patna (IIT Patna)
- Maulana Azad College of Engineering and Technology, Patna
- Millia Institute of Technology, Purnea
- Motihari College of Engineering, Motihari
- Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Muzaffarpur
- Nalanda College of Engineering, Nalanda
- National Institute of Technology, Patna (NIT Patna)
- Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Patna
- R.P. Sharma Institute Of Tehnology, Patna
- Patna Sahib College of Engineering & Technology,Vaishali
- Sanjay Gandhi Institution of Technology, Patna
- Sityog Institute of Technology, Aurangabad, Bihar
- Siwan Engineering and Technical Institute, Siwan
- Vidya Vihar Institute of Technology, Purnea
- Vidyadaan Institute of Technology and Management(VITM), Buxar
- Women's Institute of Technology, Darbhanga
Other colleges in Bihar are:
- Chanakya National Law University
- Chandragupt Institute of Management
- College of Arts and Crafts, Patna
- Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital
- Information Computer Training College Darbhanga
- Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences
- National Institute of Fashion Technology Patna
- National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research
- Patna Medical College
- Patna University
- Patna Women's College
- St. Xavier's Collage, Patna
- St. Xavier's Collage of Education, Patna
- "Teacher Absence in India: A Snapshot". World Bank. June 1, 2004.
- Basu, Kaushik (November 29, 2004). "Combating India's truant teachers". BBC. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
- Pratham .org | Pratham - A Network of Societal Missions to Achieve Universal Primary Education in India
- "Bihar improves primary education score". iGovernment.
- Varma, Subodh (December 12, 2007). "Only 21% teachers in Bihar are Class X pass". The Times Of India.
- "Shortage of engineering colleges in Bihar". Times of India. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Bihar On medical college formation". Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- List of educational institutions in Bihar
- List of educational institutions in Patna
- List of schools in Patna