Bihar Education Minister Ashok Choudhary today told the state Legislative Council that the state government would soon start "virtual classroom" so that students can get guidance and knowledge from best faculty. Replying to the House debate on Education department's Rs 25,251.58 crore budgetary demand for 2017-18, Choudhary said "We have plans to start 'virtual classroom' in 1000 high schools across the state in the first phase so that students can get guidance and knowledge from best teachers of different streams in Bihar through digital mode." The government intends to expand the 'virtual classroom' facility to all the high schools of the state in future keeping in mind the availability of resources, minister said. Hailing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for launching bicycle and school uniform schemes to popularise girls' education, the minister said the fact that in this year's matriculation examination close to 50 per cent of the examinees were girls. "It is a matter of joy that 49 per cent girls have taken part in matric examination this year, while the figure stands at 44 per cent for those appearing in intermediate examination," he said while emphasising the government's commitment to empower women of the state. With Bihar catching limelight of international and national media for mass scale cheating in school examinations over the years, the minister said that the state government has tightened noose around such activities since last year and held a cheating-free matriculation examination in the past two years. Among other measures to improve education system in Bihar, Chaudhary said his department has made it mandatory for students to ensure 75 per cent attendance in schools to be eligible for various incentives being provided by the state government. Stating that the government has set up three universities at Purnea, Nalanda and Munger, Choudhary said the government is going to set up State University Service Commission to expedite the appointment of lecturers in Colleges and Universities. Besides, government has also increased 20 per cent seats in affiliated and constituent colleges of the state, he added. Those who participated in the debate included - Sanjay Prasad (RJD), Kedar Nath Pandey (CPI), Rajnish Kumar, Nawal Kishore Yadav (both BJP) Ram Vachan Rai (JD(U). The opposition members led by BJP, however, staged walk out expressing disaffection with the Minister's reply at the fag end of the day's proceedings.
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