Ranchi: It’s never too late to learn and with this saying, Jharkhand education minister Jagarnath Mahto, twenty-five years after matriculating, enrolled in Class XI on Monday. He enrolled to complete an intermediate course in arts at an institution—Devi Mahto Inter College in Nawadih—he helped set up in 2005.
53-year-old Mahto faced criticism with this educational qualification after he was elevated to the position of education minister. “Constant criticism inspired me to re-start my pending education. Ever since I was made education minister of Jharkhand, a section of people has been aggressive on my educational qualification. Then, I decided to begin my studies again,” the minister said.
Mahto—a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) veteran—who represents the Dumri constituency said his decision to re-enroll in school would silence critics who mocked him for his educational qualification.
“I will work hard and will balance between the work of a minister and that of a student,” said Mahto, who enrolled as a regular student.
“I am interested in political science. I will study with dedication, score good marks, and use what I learn to try to improve the education system in the state. People who mocked me will see the changes,” he added.
Mahto is not a single minister, who qualifies matriculation, but as per the affidavit for Jharkhand assembly polls 2019, four more ministers in the Jharkhand cabinet—health minister Banna Gupta, transport minister Champai Soren, social welfare minister Joba Manjhi and labour minister, Satyanand Bhokta have declared their educational qualification up to class 10.