Describing illiteracy among women as bane of development, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said the government has decided to open higher secondary schools at gram panchayat level with special emphasis on education of girls.
To begin with, 1,000 such schools will be opened in 2013. This is in sync with the government's objective to catapult Bihar among the top 5 to 7 states in terms of literacy in the next one decade, said Kumar at a seminar held in Samanpura area of Patna.
Citing recent studies conducted by the state's mission human development committee headed by the chief minister, Kumar said it was observed that girls' education played a significant role in bringing down population growth as well as checking deteriorating sex ratio.
Rate of fertility in the state is 3.7 per couple. However, it comes down to 1.6 in case girls are educated up to plus 2 level,h he underlined.
Calling upon the private educational institutes to join in the state government's campaign to educate girls, the chief minister said special incentives like concession would be given to such institutions, which will impart education to girls. The state government had already taken many initiatives like free distribution of uniform, cycles and books to students to curb dropouts and it worked well particularly in case of girl students, he added.
The chief minister said that different types of government institutions, working at the village levels, were entrusted with the task to improve literacy among girls. Strategy adopted by the state government has paid good dividend. We have achieved growth of about 20% in terms of literacy in the last one decade. The Centre has awarded Bihar for registering the highest growth rate,h he added.
Principal secretary, education, Amarjeet Sinha said the department had launched different schemes like talim-e-markaz and strengthening of madrasas to promote education among minorities. The government had also made the provision of 50% reservation for women in appointment of teachers, he added.
President of private schools and children welfare association, Syed Shamael Ahmad said that a state-level conference of private schools would be organised in July to discuss the issues related to women's education. Chairman of Bihar Haj committee, Anisur Rahman Quasmi and regional director of National Institute of Open Education, Sanjay Sinha was also present.