TED NewsDesk, Patna: Patna College of Arts and Crafts (CAC), established in 1939, is serving as a historical site of culture for the state of Bihar for a long time. What started as a cornerstone of cultural education in the state has gradually watered down to a mere spectacle of knowledge- giving. CAC is the only government-run arts college in both Bihar and Jharkhand, which technically should make it eligible for receiving support from both the state governments, but such is not the case. As illustrated by the lack of teaching staff, necessary facilities and, above all the absence of a masters degree in fine arts, the students often find it difficult to pursue higher studies in the field due to its crumbling state of education.
The college offers only the Bachelor in Fine Arts degree till now, for continuing further studies students have to go to other states. Many students are then unable to study further as they are unable to move to another state for financial reasons amongst others. Especially female students have it more challenging since their parents don’t allow them to leave home for studies by themselves.
Apart from this, there is an utter lack of teachers as well, many teaching positions are empty, and there is no drive to fill them at the moment. Additionally, the college suffers from several infrastructural problems, according to a student, Md Izharul, the college water tank and the water filters are dysfunctional, making it very difficult for the students to go through their day especially during the summers. He also laments the broken metal kiln. Due to which the students are unable to do practical work despite getting theoretical knowledge. Besides, the college bathrooms are not in their best shape, due to which female students have to suffer a lot.
According to another student, Tanmay Anand, there is an acute lack of equipment in each department of the college. In the Applied Art department, the available computers don’t have compatible software, rendering them completely useless. Even in classrooms, there is a lack of equipment necessary for teaching and practical work.
There are no hostel facilities for the students, especially for the female students who have to arrange their lodgings outside the campus which is not considered precisely safe. On top of that, there is no security on the college gates, leaving the students to fend for themselves when it comes to safety.
Students have many expectations from the coming government; one of them is to open an art gallery where they can display their art pieces and works, which at present, remain on the shelves. The students demand a fair policy for the encouragement of artists, providing them support to pursue their artistic interests, hence adding to the cultural capital of the state.
Many expectations are riding on the future government in Bihar, which will decide their fates of many students of the College of Arts and Crafts Patna. It remains to be seen if the coming government will work towards the upliftment of these budding artists or they will be dealt with in the same manner as the current government has been treating them.