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Bihar has witnessed a considerable decline in the percentage of ‘out of school children' in the age group of 6-14, down from 12.8 per cent in 2006 to 6.3 perc ent in 2007.
According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2007 for the rural areas, the state has also witnessed a major decline in the number of girl child not attending schools.
While the 2006 data reveals that nearly 17.6 per cent of girls in the age group 11-14 years were out of school in the state, the last year (2007) has seen the number drop to 9.7 per cent.
The ASER that was recently released by Planning Commission Vice Chairman Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia ranks Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh as the top three states in education.
The state government has also witnessed a substantial jump in percentage of children going to government primary schools, which is higher than the national average. The number has increased to 84.1 per cent in 2007 as compared to 72.2 per cent in 2006. The national average of enrolment in primary schools is 75.3 per cent.
According to a Government of Bihar communiqué, the states success in meeting the primary education challenge can be attributed to its four schemes—Mukhya Mantri Samagra Vidyalaya Vikas Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Balika Poshak Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Balika Cycle Yojana and Mukhya Mantri Samagra Shiksha Purshkar Yojana.
"All these schemes have collectively contributed for enrolment and enhancement of retention in government primary schools," the state government said.