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Primary education for all is becoming reality in Bihar

Enrolment in Govt schools has gone up in the state while more and more students are opting for private schools in the rest of the country.

Written by Agencies | Patna |
July 3, 2009 11:22:17 am

Bihar has shown the way. The enrolment in government schools has gone up in the state while more and more students are opting for private schools in the rest of the country.

The enrolment in government schools has gone up from 72.2 per cent in 2005 to 83.6 per cent in 2008. Not only that. Eighteen lakh school dropouts (in the 6-14 age group) of a total of 25 lakh in 2005 have been brought back to school till date.

The project director of the Bihar Education Project Council,Rajesh Bhushan,attributed this to the ‘School Chale Hum’ programme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SAA) launched by the Nitish Kumar government.

Taking note of Bihar’s success story,the Centre has increased Bihar’s budgetary allocation for SAA,earmarking Rs 4,299 crore for the year 2009-10. Uttar Pradesh on the other hand had been allocated Rs 3,800 for the same purpose,Bhushan said.

According to ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) 2008,which carried out a survey at 997 villages of 35 districts on three basic parameters — school enrolment,reading skill and arithmetic skills,Bhushan said that the proportion of out-of-school girls in the state had also dropped from 20.1 per cent in 2005 to 2.92 per cent in 2009.

BEPC sources said that the maximum number of children who have returned to schools were Muslims. In March 2008,the Muslim child population in the state in the age group of 6-14 was nearly 33.06 lakh and of them only 2.83 lakh were now out of school.

With more than two crore children in the age group of 6-14 enrolled in schools,it became imperative to strengthen the primary education infrastructure across the state,Bhushan said.

He said that the SAA succeeded in Bihar due to a number of innovative measures undertaken by the BEPC to make primary education student friendly.

Under the scheme,15,000 new school buildings were constructed and 1,20,451 additional class rooms were added to schools till March,2009,the sources said.

He said that schemes such as ‘Bal Sansad’ (child

parliament),Meena Manch (girls club) Hunar (vocational training for muslim girls),Uthan kendra,Talimi Markaz,Martial arts for girls,English is fun and computer-aided learning were launched.

The ‘Bal Sansad’ or child parliament is a unique feature of the scheme under which parliament members motivate other children in their neighbourhoods to join the schools,Bushan said.

Similarly,at Uthan kendras out-of-school mahadalit children were given bridge courses to enable them to enter formal primary schools at class five level.

The Talimi Markaz was launched for Muslim students at 224 centres and Hunar is aimed at imparting vocational training to Muslim girls.

Over 13,768 minority girls are benefiting through vocational skill development training in 298 centres across the state in jute production,bakery and confectionary,certificate course in health of rural women,early childhood care and techonology,cutting,tailoring and dress making and beauty culture.

Bhushan said the state had fixed 2010 as the deadline for providing quality primary education to all children in the age group of 6-14.

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