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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Mamata to set up panel to overhaul education system

Ravik Bhattacharya , Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 26, 2013
First Published: 10:10 IST(26/9/2013) | Last Updated: 10:14 IST(26/9/2013)

Mamata Banerjee is planning to set up a ‘Siksha Commission’ to formulate an education policy and a vision for Bengal.

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The commission will make sweeping recommendations on a range of issues such as modern syllabus, recruitment of teachers, placement of students and even fund generation, apart from knowledge upgrade helping Bengal students to compete nationally and internationally.

The commission will include a number of prominent educationists.

Government sources said that such a commission would be unique among all states in the country.

The move comes at a time when the education sector in Bengal is in the limelight for all the wrong reasons, be it students assaulting teachers and principals or students dying after being ragged by seniors in schools.

“It is the brainchild of the chief minister. It is in a nascent stage. The commission will oversee education in Bengal and present an overhaul plan and vision. Human resource is generated in the state but it, most of the times, is not on par with national or international levels.

“It is seen that though our students score good marks in Bengal, they fail to compete outside. For instance, Bengal fails to generate enough IAS, IPS officers,” said a Trinamool leader close to Mamata.

Mamata has already discussed the idea in close quarters and shortly the government would begin search for educationists who will be part of the commission.

“The main aim is to streamline education in Bengal from primary to higher education. A proper burden-free modern syllabus for students, proper recruitment of teachers, proper school environment are among the areas the commission will oversee,” said a cabinet minister.

Sources said the commission would also find ways of funding colleges and universities.

At present, the university funds itself, apart from grants from UGC.

However, the government wants the commission to find out ways that colleges and universities can have an alternate source of funding which may be from the private sector.

The commission will prepare a blueprint and place its recommendations to the chief minister herself and will work closely with the state education department which will facilitate its policies.

Knowledge upgrade and placement of successful students will also be looked into. The commission will suggest ways in which Bengal students can compete outside.

The government feels that the education sector has been neglected for years, which had led not only to politicisation of colleges and universities, but has also been responsible for Bengal lagging behind nationally and internationally.

Recently the death of Oindrilla Das, a class 5 student of Christ Church School, after being ragged by her seniors, hit the headlines.

This raised a number of issues in the education sector and even a demand for a body to monitor private schools in the state.

A series of incidents regarding students beating up principals and teachers was also a hotly debated issue in the state.


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