Santosh Singh : Patna, Mon Jan 23 2012, 00:14 hrs

In OBC girls’ Class I-VIII enrolment, Bihar ahead of most states

Bihar is next only to Tamil Nadu when it comes to enrolment of OBC girls in upper primary (Class VI to VIII) level, leaving behind developed states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka.

The latest Central government report, prepared by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NEUPA), says Bihar has lesser dropout girls past Class V than that in other states.

Bihar is also not far behind top-ranking states in Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe girls’ enrolment in primary and upper primary levels (Class I to VIII), says the report.

According to the NEUPA report “Elementary Education in India: Progress Towards Universal Elementary Education”, Bihar recorded 65.25 per cent enrolment of OBC girls in Class VI to VIII in 2010-11 as compared to Tamil Nadu’s 68.81 per cent. The national average stands at 40.27 per cent only.

Kerala, which has 100 per cent literacy, has 60.95 per cent enrolment in this category, followed by Uttar Pradesh (50.33), Gujarat (49.63), Chhattisgarh (49.81), Rajasthan (48.64), Jharkhand (48.52) and Andhra Pradesh (46.54).

ST girls’ enrolment in primary school in 2010-11 was 48.46 as compared to the national average of 48.53 per cent.

In upper primary schools, Bihar ST girls recorded 47.46 per cent as compared to the national average of 48.16 per cent.

“The data shows our incentives like uniform and bicycle schemes have been proving a draw. Though girls get bicycles only in Class IX, the motivation keeps good attendance in primary schools,” says Bihar Education Project (a registered Bihar government body focusing on elementary education) Special Project Director Rajesh Bhushan.

Bhushan says the Central government report also showed that Bihar had almost touched the national average in SC girls’ enrolment in primary and upper primary schools.

Over 6 lakh children below 14 years still do not go to school in Bihar that has 71,000 schools with a strength of 2.27 crore children.

The Special Project Director says the state targets to bring all of them to school in the coming two years.