Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bihar govt to build 1,000 high schools every year

Dev Raj, Hindustan Times
Patna, September 06, 2012

The state government launched seven ambitious schemes for the betterment of education sector on the occasion of Teacher's Day. The schemes include building 1,000 high schools every year to cover all panchayats and a computer education programme for children, which will initially cover 500 schools. The education department and UTI also signed an MoU in the presence of chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday to implement 'retirement benefit pension fund' scheme for contractual teachers at a programme held at Sri Krishna Memorial Hall.
The pension scheme would be implemented from January 1, 2013. The state government will contribute Rs. 200 per teacher every month in it, while the teachers will have to pay an equal sum. Those less than 54 years of age would be able to participate in the scheme. The scheme to pay timely salary via banks to 2.5 lakh contractual teachers was also kicked off.
The chief minister inaugurated a computer education programme for 500 high schools in the state through video conferencing with the teachers and students of Dhanarua high school. The scheme would cover altogether 1,000 schools. Kumar also launched the progress report scheme for all government schools in the state, as well as, the primary school students.
The report cards related to construction work being done by Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), and by Bihar State Education Infrastructure Development Corporation (BSEIDC) were released at the function.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Kumar highlighted the important role of teachers in shaping the future of their students.
Kumar said, “We have achieved quantitative success in education. Now we need qualitative success. We are in talks with the World Bank over a training programme for teachers on a massive scale. It will cost around Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1600 crore. All new and serving teachers would be included in it.”
Kumar said, special tachers eligibility test (TET) would be held to recruit Urdu teachers, who would be appointed at all primary schools in the state. He has already given instructions to the education department to appoint as many such teachers as they can get in the recently held general TET.
“We have also promised to have one high school in every panchayat, which means 5000 more are needed in Bihar. We will do it by constructing 1000 high schools in a phased manner every year,” added the chief minister.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said, the state government is spending Rs. 14,000 crore on primary, secondary and higher education this year out of a total education budget of Rs. 20,000 crore. He said, three lakh more teachers are required, but the assistance from the Centre to the states is much less that the money needed by them.
Education minister PK Shahi observed, that there has been an unprecedented growth in the number of school going children in Bihar. Around 2 crore are enrolled in primary schools, but the worrying aspect is that less than 80% attend classes. He said proper coordination between parents, schools and officials are needed to improve it.
Principal secretary for education, Amarjeet Sinha delivered the welcome address at the programme. Anjani Kumar Singh, principal secretary to CM, Patna divisional commissioner SK Negi, SSA project director Rahul Singh, primary education director Ashutosh Kumar, secondary education director Kamal Kumar Sinha, and several other officials were present on the occasion.

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