"Last week, state Education Minister Brishen Patel admitted in the assembly that over 1,000 teachers used fake degrees to get jobs in government schools in the state."
Patna, July 19 - For a woman school teacher in Bihar, Pratibha Patil is still India's president and Smriti Irani the governor of the state. These answers shocked a district magistrate who has ordered a probe into the authenticity of the teacher's qualification based on which she got a job in a government school.
The incident took place in Gaya district.
Kumari Anita, a teacher at a primary school in Dumri in Bankebazaar block, a Maoist affected area, had approached district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agrawal at his 'janata darbar' to request for a transfer to a school near her home.
When Agrawal tried to test her general knowledge, the woman wrote Pratibha Patil's name as the president, and Smriti Irani - who is the human resource development minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet - as the Bihar governor.
This shocked the district magistrate to such an extent that he has ordered a check on the authenticity of the woman's degree.
It was shocking for me. How can such a teacher with poor knowledge teach our children in a school? Agrawal asked.
A district education official said Anita had approached Agrawal with a request to transfer her from a school located in a remote village, surrounded by mountains and a forest area, to a school near her home on the grounds that she was the lone teacher in the school and she feared that any untoward incident could take place.
The official said Anita may now land in more trouble if her degree is found to be fake.
Action can be initiated against her, he said.
This was not the first time that a school teacher in Bihar has goofed-up.
A few years ago, a primary school teacher in Samastipur district was caught on camera by a local TV news channel telling students that there were 360 days in a year and that Patna - the capital of Bihar - was the Indian capital.
She also spelt January as Junuary, apple as apil, Saturday as Shatrdey and education as adukesun.
Last week, state Education Minister Brishen Patel admitted in the assembly that over 1,000 teachers used fake degrees to get jobs in government schools in the state.
Patel said the state government will not only sack them but they will be sent to jail for faking their education qualification.