Staff Reporter

Open School to impart skill training to 12,000 girls in Bihar

NEW DELHI: Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh launched a unique project here in the Capital on Thursday to impart skill training to Muslim girls in Bihar.

“Project Hunur” is a collaborative effort of the Union Ministry and the Bihar Government. Under the scheme, the National Institute of Open Schooling will provide training to 12,000 girls in “gram sakhi”, jute production, cutting and tailoring, early childhood care and education, basic technology and beauty culture. The project will be implemented through maktabs, madrasas and darul-uloom and NIOS will make provision for concessions related to infrastructure and fees. It will provide free course material to the girls.

Talking about the scheme, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said: “When we announced the scheme in Bihar, we received 13,000 applications, of which 12,000 girls have been selected. We must encourage them to pursue their talents and become self-reliant. We will select 50,000 Muslim girls next year.”

“Apart from imparting skills to the girls, it is equally important that they should have the necessary tools to put their skills to use. For instance, those who are learning cutting and tailoring should have a sewing machine. We have decided that when the girls obtain a certificate after completing the course, we will give them the tools to empower them further,” he added. The Chief Minister also underscored the importance of jointly monitoring the project with the Central Government.

Addressing the gathering, Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh pointed out that a lot of initiatives were being taken in higher education under the 11th Five Year Plan.

“We are starting this project in Bihar. I am sure that there are other States that will come forward to participate in a beneficial scheme like this,” he said referring to “Hunur”.

Another scheme pertaining to providing free education to students from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Bihar, who have taken admission with the NIOS, was also launched on Thursday.

Stating that it was important to focus on communities like Muslims, SCs and STs, the Bihar Chief Minister said: “The State Government has taken the decision to give free education to SC/ST learners through NIOS. This initiative will vastly improve their access to school level education.”