Education minister Bratya Basu defended Trinamool Congress South 24-Parganas leader Arabul Islam and said just having a post-graduate degree does not make an individual highly educated.
The comment comes on the backdrop of Saugata Roy’s comment against Arabul that even Class 8 dropouts are earning a seat in college governing bodies.
Basu was speaking at a programme at Bongobashi College. “I do not feel that those having an MA or MSc degree are highly qualified and those who do not have degrees are half-educated. Degree according to me is not essential. The person must have a passion for the job,” he said.
Without naming Arabul and pointing at the recent media controversy on whether politicians should be allowed to enter governing body of institutions, Basu said, “I personally feel that colleges which has the likes of Saugata Ray on their governing body can be proud. But now civil society is discussing how politicians who have little education can join education institutions?”
“I have a counter question for them. Our favourite sport cricket, has regional quotas for selection. If it is said that only those who have over 5,000 runs and 100 wickets would represent eastern India, then probably only one player would get selected,” Basu added.
Supporting Arabul, Basu said, “Even if politicians take interest in colleges or get associated with it we need to see whether he is bringing politics in college or his vested interest into the institution. That is what is important and needs to be seen.”
Recently during a managing committee meeting at Bhangar College, Arabul reportedly threw a jug containing water on a teacher.
HT had earlier reported that Basu is taking initiatives to ensure that college governing body members have a minimum academic qualification. “I have asked the West Bengal State Council of Higher Education to ensure that governing body members of colleges have minimum educational qualification,” he said.
Roy’s statement on October 6 reflected a growing concern that the state government is not cracking down on campus violence. “A section of TMC who are leading student unions are also influencing the police for not taking action against the accused. If this continues, it will be difficult to restore law & order,” he said.