Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said education of girls has a direct bearing on fertility rate in Bihar, where it has gone down to 3.2 from 3.9 earlier. Kumar, who was speaking at Teachers Day function here, said it has been found in studies in the country that if the wife is a matriculate than the fertility rate will be 2 and this has been the situation in Bihar. If the wife has passed the intermediate examination the fertility rate is 1.7 but it was 1.6 in Bihar. “On the basis of this we thought that we have found the solution to control population. If all the girls in the state study upto class 12 we can achieve the national average in terms of fertility rate or do even better than it … As a result, we decided to open a plus two school in every village.” He said senior secondary schools were opened in more than 5000 village panchayats and in the rest too it would come up soon.
In order to boost girls education, the state government has launched several schemes like bicycle programme, free uniform as well school bag and shoes. Kumar said his government is giving topmost priority to education for which more than 20 per cent of the state budget is earmarked.
As part of the sustained efforts to increase literacy among girls, their enrollment in class nine is now almost equal to that of boys in Bihar. “Earlier the number of girls studying in class nine was only 1.7 lakh and now it has reached nine lakh. The enrolment of girls in class nine is almost equal to that of the boys,” he said at the function, where he awarded meritorious teachers.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that the state government spends Rs 14,434 crore every year as salary to teachers. Out of this, Rs 2925 crore is spent on salaries for college teachers, Rs 4852 crore for primary school teachers, Rs 1997 crore for middle school teachers and Rs 4600 crores for fixed pay teachers. “When the government spends this much it becomes duty of teachers to become role models for students to inspire them for studies,” Sushil Modi, who is also the Bihar finance minister, said.
Three new universities are coming up from the next session in the state. Patliputra University would be carved out of Magadh University, Purnea University from B N Mandal University and Munger university out of Tilkamanjhi Bhagalpur university, he said.
In view of the shortage of teachers in science and English in 1000 secondary schools, virtual classes would be run in them, he said.