The Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC), popularly known as Bihar Education Project (BEP)... Read More

Impact /Major Achievements

Access: In order to enhance availability of schooling facilities to children, the project adopted an approach of opening formal as well as alternative schools. 1743 formal schools were opened in project districts. A large number of habitations do not fulfill the population norm and hence do not qualify for opening of a formal school. A good proportion of girl’s crosses the entry ages of school and remain outside the schooling system. Alternative schools were opened in small school-les...

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The District Primary Education Project (DPEP) was being implemented in 11 educational districts (which have now become 20 as educational districts were made co-terminus with revenue districts) in Bihar. The project was identified for IDA credit under DPEP III, this being the third phase of the program at national level. Total number of districts under DPEP III was 17 but 6 districts became part of the newly carved state, Jharkhand, after Bihar was bifurcated in 2001. DPEP covered educational districts include Bhagalpur, Bhojpur, Darbhanga, Gaya, Munger, Muzaffarpur, Purnea, Rohtas, Sitamarhi, Vaishali & West Champaran.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for selection of districts under DPEP were:

  1. Educationally backward districts with female literacy below the national average (39.29 percent), and;
  2. Districts where Total Literacy Campaign (TLC) have generated demand for elementary education. (Out of 536 districts in the Country TLC covers 450 districts as on March 31,1999).


The broad goal of the project was to contribute to reconstruction of primary education as a whole in selected districts with emphasis on decentralized planning and management, reduction of disparities in educational participation and improvement in education quality. The specific program objectives were:

  • To reduce differences in enrolment, drop-out and learning achievement among gender and social groups to less than 5 percent,
  • To reduce overall primary drop-out rates for all students to less than 10 percent,
  • To raise the achievement levels by 25 percent above measured baseline levels,
  • To provide access to all children to primary (grades 1 to 5) schooling or its equivalent non-formal education and
  • Capacity building in planning, management and evaluation at all levels.

The DPEP Approach/Strategies

The emphasis and philosophy of DPEP is on Education, Empowerment and Equity for a more educated, skilled and empowered generation of women and men in the country. Hence DPEP seeks to augment the UEE efforts by: Holistic planning and management: Planning and implementation of UEE was perceived in its totality, integrating all the measures needed for achieving quality elementary education in the specific context of the project area. Decentralized, Participatory Planning Processes: People...

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Bihar is one of the most educationally backward states in India. The state has the lowest female literacy rate in the country. A major education program, known as Bihar Education Project (BEP) was launched in the 7 districts in undivided Bihar in 1991. Although the BEP was operational in only selected blocks of these 7 districts, the experienced provided a base for DPEP III launch. However, there were significant differences between the two, the most critical being that of scale. The scale of operations was much larger in DPEP III as compared to BEP. Moreover, majority of the districts in DPEP III was new ones with no exposure to implement such project. A number of factors impacting educational participation have social overtones and require a longer time frame for achieving any substantial change. DPEP III was conceived as a five-year project. The project was formally launched in October 1997 and completed its terms in September 2003. The project was further extended for two ears and finally came to an end in March, 2006. This does not contained any request for additional fund support as the state proposed to utilize the unspent project funds for the extension period and price escalation due to change in Dollar exchange rate.

About D.P.E.P

The updated NPE of 1992 provides for key strategies of Decentralization with the district as the unit of planning for implementation of elementary education and increasing reliance on social mobilization to promote basic education.

The Bihar Education Project was the first major new initiative taken in the direction of operationalizing this new approach to primary education. The District Primary Education Project (DPEP) which was approved as a Centrally sponsored scheme was another major initiative designed to promote a challenging, holistic planning and management approach to Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE).

In a State like Bihar which had low enrolment and very high dropout rate, especially among the disadvantaged groups and girls in particular, DPEP was intended as a gender sensitive project which can address the problems of access, retention and above all quality in primary education. DPEP was characterized by an area specific approach, which was contextual and sensitive to local conditions. It was committed to reducing gender and social disparities with regard to enrolment, retention and achievement of all children in the primary school level.