Bihar: Almanacs to be distributed free of cost
Patna, Oct 03: In a first, exercise books and almanacs, bearing teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and APJ Abdul Kalam, along with textbooks, will be distributed free of cost among students of Classes 1 to 8 in all government schools of Bihar. The move is a part of the slew of measures being taken by the government to improve academic standards in the state, said additional chief secretary (ACS) of the state education department, Dipak Kumar Singh, news agency PTI reported.
Teachers will be given diaries to record performances of students and other activities, he said. "This is the first time exercise books will be provided to students of classes 1 to 8 for free. Almanacs carrying relevant information, including social reform initiatives of the state government and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and APJ Abdul Kalam, will also be given to them.
"Teachers, too, will be getting diaries to maintain day-to-day progress reports," Singh said, adding that the decision was taken by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in consultation with officials of the education department. Earlier, students in government schools were given only textbooks.
Asked about the availability of funds for the new scheme, Singh said that the government has "remarkably increased" allotment for education.
"Our government is committed to improving the quality of education in Bihar. Any expenditure on education is considered an investment. In 2020-21, of the total Rs 12,959 crore spent, Rs 6,054 crore (46.7 per cent) was on elementary education and rest (52.6 per cent) on secondary and higher education," the ACS underlined.
Talking about the almanacs, he said teachings of 'Bapu' and Kalam continue to inspire us all till date. "Children can benefit from these teachings. Along with that, social reforms initiatives of the Bihar government will also find a place in the almanacs," Mr Singh added.
According to Bihar Economic Survey (2021-22) the total number of primary and upper primary schools in Bihar increased from 72,981 in 2016-17 to 75,295 in 2019-20. "Of these, 42,408 are primary schools and 32,887 upper primary schools. In 2019-20, three best-performing districts in terms of number of schools were -- Patna (4,002), East Champaran (3,852) and Muzaffarpur (3,201). Three districts with the least number of schools were - Sheohar (425), Arwal (555) and Sheikhpura (581)," the survey report added.