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Govt counters CAG statistics

Bihar Education Project Council on Friday said the comptroller and auditor general went by the projected population figure when it raised questions on the enrolment figure for 2012-13.

Two days after the audit watchdog tore apart the government’s claim on the improved education sector, the state council convened a meet to explain its stand.

Rahul Singh, the project director of Bihar Education Project Council, said: “The figure provided by CAG with reference to population and enrolment is based on the projected population figure and not the actual population and enrolment of children in schools.”

Bihar Education Project Council is the executing agency of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Bihar.

On Tuesday, the CAG tabling its report for the year ending March 31, 2013, pointed out excess enrolment against child population. A test check of records of four district programme officers (DPOs) of Sitamarhi, Khagaria, Kishanganj and Gaya revealed that the enrolment figure was more than the population of children in the 6-14 age group. Against a child population of 22,18,089, the respective DPOs had shown 23,02,785 children as enrolled.

On Friday, Singh said child population in Sitamarhi district for 2012-13 was 8,29,759, while the enrolment figure was 6,31,213. In Khagaria, the child population was 4,16,275 against an enrolment figure of 3,45,953. In Gaya, the population was 10,12,995 against the enrolment of 77,52,26 children in primary schools. For Kishanganj, the population figure was 4,19,084 and the enrolment figure was 3,84,284. Combined, the state’s figure for child population in the four districts stands at 26,78,113 — more than what the CAG presented. The enrolment figure stands at 21,36,676 — not just lesser than the child population but also from what the audit watchdog showed.

The CAG had also stated that Bihar could not avail the benefit of central assistance and state share to the tune of Rs 19,279 crore for implementing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in 2008-13. Singh said for 2012-13, the Centre’s fund planning was made based on the sanctioned posts of teachers in government schools.

Giving an instance, he said: “In 2012-13, requisite planning was made for the release of funds against the sanctioned post of 4.02 lakh teachers. But in actual, only 2.02 lakh teachers were working in the government schools.”

The council accepted some facts presented by the CAG too. “The CAG, in its report, stated that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan — envisaged to achieve universal elementary education programme — was lagging in Bihar, as 1,896 eligible habitations were yet to have schools. We are looking for land to set up the schools in these places,” Singh said.

Of 71,762 schools, 357 were functioning without teachers and 5, 002 schools had only one teacher, CAG said. To that, the council said lack of teachers’ recruitment in 2006-07 and 2008-09 was to blame for the shortage.