UNICEF to frame comprehensive plan for primary education in Bihar

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Patna, Mar 2 (UNI) A specific teaching and learning strategy, especially suited to the needs of Bihar, is being framed in joint collaboration with the UNICEF and state government bodies to improve the educational scenario at the primary level.

Bihar unit representative of the UNICEF Bijaya Rajbhandari said here today that the initiative is the first of its kind aimed at developing a Bihar-specific action plan to ensure quality education for all children which will further improve the enrolment, retention and completion rates and learning levels in the state.

''UNICEF is committed to collaborate with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Bihar Education Project Council, the SCERT, the department of Human Resource Development and others to develop the unique teaching and learning strategy,'' he added.

A seminar on ''Educational practices at primary level across India'', organised by the UNICEF in collaboration with the state Education department, was also held here recently to discuss the strategy, he informed.

Educational experts from Delhi, Karnataka, Rajasthan and West Bengal, attending the seminar, have already successfully revolutionised the way children learn in classrooms across the country, he further informed.

Meanwhile state Human Resource Department Principal Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh said, ''With political will and efficiency in governance, the educational indicators in enrolment, retention and gender equity have shown remarkable improvement in the state.'' He said the government had initiated several projects and programmes to address basic issues, including providing access to textbooks and uniforms, enabling girl children to reach schools by providing them bicycles, curriculum revision and teacher enrolment and training.

He admitted the tremendous challenges in imparting education to all children specially girls saying that the comprehensive action plan would hopefully address all the challenges.

Meanwhile, a UNICEF release stated that the number of out-of-school children had decreased from 44 lakh in 2003 to 15 lakh in 2007 in the state and the total enrolment in government schools at the end of last year stood at 1.6 crore, up from 99 lakh in 2004.

However, learning levels continued to be a major challenge in the state, it added.

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