Patna, Jan 25 (IANS) Nearly seven million school students in Bihar will not get free cycle and uniform under a government scheme as they lack the mandatory 75 percent attendance.
And despite protests from parents, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is standing firm.
Nitish Kumar has made it clear that the government will not compromise on the mandatory attendance criteria for providing cycle and uniform to school children.
"What is the use of spending so much money if children don't go to school?" he said. "Parents should ensure that they attend school."
Education Minister P.K. Shahi echoed the view: "The government is not going to make any change on the attendance issue.
"Only those students will be eligible for funds (to buy cycle and uniform) who have at least 75 percent attendance between April and September 2012," Shahi said.
Under the scheme, Rs.700 is given to students to buy school uniform and Rs.2,500 for a cycle.
In over a dozen districts, students and their parents after being denied the cash blocked roads and burnt tyres. In some places they ransacked the offices of the schools.
Bihar began giving away funds for school students to buy uniform and cycle in January. The scheme is aimed at improving school attendance and increasing literacy rates.