Bihar Education Minister Ashok Chaudhary today said there has been a rise in the number of girls students appearing in this year’s matriculation and intermediate examination. “It is a matter of joy that in this year’s matriculation examination, 49 per cent of the examinees are girl, while the figure stands at 44 per cent for those appearing in intermediate examination,” he said in legislative assembly while greeting the fair gender on international women’s day.
As per actual number, 8.98 lakh boys are writing matric examination this year, while the number of girls are a shade lower at 8.67 lakh, Chaudhary said, adding that in intermediate examination, the boys’ number stand at 7.04 lakh, while the girls’ number stand at 5.56 lakh.
It goes without saying that education of girl child will lead to empowerment of women in Bihar and boost overall progress in the society, the Education Minister said and thanked the Chief Minister for making the largest allocation for Education department at Rs. 25,251.38 crore.
Chaudhary was replying to debate on the budgetary allocation of his department that was later passed by the ruling members by voice vote after the opposition members staged walk out expressing disaffection with the Minister’s reply at the fag end of the day’s proceedings.
With Bihar getting bad press for rampant cheating in school examinations over the years, the Education Minister said that the state government has tightened noose around such activities since last year and held a cheating-free matriculation examination in the past two years.
“The state government’s tough stand to conduct cheating-free examination has sent a clear message to the students that they will have to study hard to get good results and that is message for parents too encourage wards to concentrate on learning than relying on unfair means at examinations,” he said.
Among other measures to improve education system in Bihar, Chaudhary said that his department has also made it mandatory for students to ensure 75 per cent attendance in schools to be eligible for various incentives being provided by the state government.
The Education Minister expressed satisfaction that the state government has succeeded in improving enrolment ratio of children in the age group of 6-14 years at 99 per cent and said that the teachers are being trained in such a manner that they will keep the little wards interested in learning in their local language.
With payment of salaries to school teachers remaining a matter of concern in Bihar due to delays, Chaudhary passed the buck on the Centre for slashing allocation under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and said that even in the current fiscal, the Central government has not released its share under the scheme forcing the state government to make available Rs 2100 crore from its own funds for payment of salaries to school teachers.
Earlier, opposition BJP MLA Sanjay Saraogi moved a cut proposal by Rs 10 to the Education Department’s budgetary allocation after Chaudhary tabled it in the House for discussion and passage during the post-lunch session.
Saraogi, a three-term MLA from Darbhanga, in his opening remarks slammed the state government for its indifference to improvement of quality of school education in Bihar.
Altogether 14 members belonging to various parties spoke in the House during three-hour debate on the education department’s budgetary allocation.