Nearly 5,500 government-aided schools were brought under the direct control of the Mamata Banerjee cabinet, by making directly government sponsored. One of the most important fallouts of this is that no teacher can contest elections without government permission.
This is a complete departure from the pervious norm, where teachers in the state would feature prominently at all levels of politics - from panchayat to parliament. Political circles view this move as silent action by the state to eliminate Left-leaning teachers from direct involvement in politics.
Another fallout is that the government can directly act against teachers ministering corporal punishment, offering private tuition or other similar offences.
However, the immediate trigger of the measure became a part of Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA), a centrally sponsored scheme to universalise secondary education. The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan aims at universal education till Class 8.
“We urged former Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal to include schools in Bengal under this scheme. Some form of government control is necessary to bring these schools under RMSA,” said education minister Bratya Basu.
RMSA, flagship education scheme of the UPA II government, has R20,120 crore allotted to it in the 11th five year plan. The inclusion of these schools under the scheme would result in new teachers being appointed and meritorious student would get scholarships.
The Centre would contribute 75% of the expenditure. Bengal has 45 government school, 65 government sponsored school and nearly 9,500 state-aided schools.