PATNA: In a shocking development, it has emerged that the ghost students enrolled in various schools in Bihar actually outnumber the child population in the particular area.
Also, huge amount of money have been siphoned off to avail government benefits such as free bicycles, mid-day meals, uniforms and scholarships.
The gross irregularities in school education were pointed out in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG’s) 2012-13 report tabled in the Bihar Assembly last week. Two years ago, it was reported that more than two million (one-third of total students) ghost students were enrolled in Bihar schools.
Interestingly, at that time, RJD chief Lalu Prasad had alleged that the Centre has fudged the figures of student enrolment ratio to win national awards. He had also demanded a CBI probe as the scam figure could run into thousands of crores.
A ‘test-check’ of records of four district programme officers (DPOs) has revealed that the enrolment figure was more than the population of children in the 6-14 age group. According to the report, the school enrolment registers in Gaya, Sitamarhi, Khagaria and Kishanganj show that there were at least 84,696 more children than the child population attending classes in these four districts.
The population of children in the four districts was actually 2,218,089 in 2012-13 but the district programme officers had shown that 2,302,785 children had been enrolled. Similarly, the scrutiny of admission and attendance registers of Class-I of 125 schools in four test-checked districts of Saran, Nawada, Rohtas and Kishanganj disclosed that 5,104 children were shown as enrolled against 3,691 admissions.
Under the Right to Education Act, 9.49 lakh children in the state were out of school in March, 2013. Reports said that the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya scheme for girls also had shortcomings. For example, at Karakat in Rohtas district, 60 girls were accommodated in a single room. Entry of male members was not restricted on the campus and night guard was not appointed.
In Kochas in the same district, 54 girls were found in one room. At Suryapura in the same district, only 57 girls were present against the enrolment of 100. Basic amenities such as cots and mattresses were insufficient.
The schools at Sampatchak and Fatuha in Patna district were found closed without any order from the competent authority, the CAG said. At Sonbarsa in Saharsa, only five girls were present against enrolment of 98. Mattresses, pillows, bedsheets and mosquito nets were not provided at all. There was no ventilation and boundary wall at the Salakhua Kasturba School. The room for girls was dark and congested, the report said.