Jharkhand Education on the Fast Track Practitioner's voice:
July 2006

Jharkhand Education on the Fast Track Practitioner’s voice:

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After carving out of Jharkhandas a separate state in 2000, the  Jharkhand  Education Project Council (JEPC) was constituted in 2001. JEPC, an autonomous body works as a State Implementation Society (SIS) to pursue the goals of  universalisation of elementary  education (UPE). The council has been involved in implementing various programmes like the Sarva  Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), District Primary Education Programme (DPEP),  UN-aid etc with the defined objectives.  A state which has a literacy rate of 54.13%, female literacy rate still lower at 39.38% and is dominated by tribal  languages like Santhali, saw a real awakening in the education sector in  2002.The awakening came when not a  single student in 22 government-run schools passed the state board examination for Class 10 in 2002. The  reason for government to worry was obvious, especially since it spends an  average of Rs.90,000 a month to run each school. Jharkhand has 1,245  state-run high schools. Meeting Education for All  Challenge Continuing with the awakening the state has taken great steps in improving literacy rates and education  through information communication technologies (ICTs). Building on these efforts, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), India, the Education  Development Center and resource partners developed a project to  improve the reach and quality of primary school education in Jharkhand. The Technology Tools for  Teaching and Training (T4) in India  project provides teachers with inservice training to improve content  and methods, and multichannel instruction in English, Math and  Science using media ranging from interactive radio to mobile video unit.
The Edusat satellite, built by the  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is wholly dedicated to meet  the needs of the education sector in this part of the country. The Edusat network provides six exclusive  channels for primary, secondary, higher  education, technical education and  e-Governance.  ASSERT – Association for  Social Engineering,  Research and  Training, in association with EDC has developed an  educational CD for  computer-based usage. AED-Academy for Educational Development, an International NGO  working in the strategic use of computers in educational processes in  the Hazaribagh region. It utilises multimedia information and  communication technologies to
develop simple reading books in both  Hindi and English. Vikas Bharathi – NGO involved in community-based education and development activities  conducts teacher orientation training.  Vidya Vahini, the Intranet and Internet project launched by the Department of Information Technology and Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India contributes to schools to provide IT  n Education in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.

English Is Fun in Jharkhand
The English Is Fun, the Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) series developed by EDC was adapted for radio broadcast in Jharkhand that  consisted of 132 programmes broadcast daily throughout the  school year to 300 schools in three districts: Ranchi, Hazaribagh and Sarai  Kala. A total of 6000 schools in 5
districts are now being covered under the IRI broadcast.

Government and budget
The budgetary outlay for education sector in the state has been  increased 20.55 % to INR 1773.11 cr in  2005-06 in comparison to the previous year. Girls’ education is encouraged  through abolishing tax till post graduation level. This apart, INR  183.38 cr allocation in the budget for the mid-day meal programme,  and announcement of some more schemes show the strong supportive  mind of the state government in the education sector.

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