EDUCATION: Private school in govt classroom – No official sanction for institution – but allowed to carry on due to Bengal ineptness, apathy or corruption ?!!

EDUCATION: Private school in govt classroom – No official sanction for institution – but allowed to carry on due to Bengal ineptness, apathy or corruption ?!! 

The two-storied government building in Chakbhrigu area. (Photo by Mithun Roy)

 

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT  

Balurghat, May 12: A private school is being run from a government-aided primary school building for the past three years here with authorities turning blind eye to the “illegal” running of the institution on the same premises. 

According to residents of Chakbhrigu on the outskirts of the town, Paschim Chakbhrigu Free Primary School with one teacher and three students — though there are 12 students on the rolls — is on the ground floor, while Vivekananda Sishu Sikhsha Niketan is on the first floor of the same government building. 

The private school has 50 students, five teachers, including a headmaster, and two non-teaching staff. It charges Rs 100 from each student every month. Both the schools start at the same time, at 11am. 

“The students in the government-aided school get free tuition and books. But the school is virtually facing a closure for want of students,” a resident said. 

Asked if the private school had obtained permission from the district primary school council, the lone teacher of the government-aided school, Nandita Das, said she was not aware of any permission. 

“According to our records, no written permission was taken by the private school. Ever since I joined about three months ago, I saw parallel classes going on from the same building. So, I have brought it to the notice of the district primary school council,” Das said. 

The headmaster of the private school, Shibendranath Chakraborty, said: “We have been running the institution on the basis of a verbal permission taken from the previous teacher of the government school.” There was no official sanction, he admitted. 

Chairman of the district primary school council Apurba Sen said the matter had been brought to his notice recently. He said he had instructed the private school to vacate the building at the earliest. 

“It (running a private school from a government building) is highly illegal. But the school authorities have mustered local support. If they do not vacate within a reasonable time, we shall initiate administrative steps against them,” Sen said. 

Shampa Sutradhar, the mother of a nursery student of the private school, said they were forced to admit their wards to the institution, as there was no other school in the vicinity. “The government primary school does not have adequate number of teachers, nor does it have any other infrastructure,” Sutradhar said. 

Parimal Das, another resident of the area, echoed her. 

Panchayat pradhan Uttam Mahanto of the RSP claimed that the private school had provided employment to some local educated youths and the students were getting much more care. “I do not find anything wrong in it,” he said. 

Late entry to stop JEE switch – closing options or preferential treatment ?!! 

FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT 

Calcutta, May 12: Universities have decided to start admissions to first-year classes in colleges after the joint entrance exam results are announced, in an attempt to ensure that seats in science courses do not remain vacant or are filled up with less-deserving candidates. 

Admissions to undergraduate colleges usually begin in the first week of June, immediately after the results of Class XII board exams are declared. This year, the board exam results are expected to be declared between May 18 and June 4. Admissions to colleges will take place in the third week of June and forms will be distributed as usual at the beginning of the month. 

JEE results are likely to be declared in the first week of next month, followed by counselling, which concludes around the third week of June. 

Apprehending that many students who enrol for science courses may not finally join first-year classes after cracking the JEE, Calcutta University, West Bengal State University, Kalyani University, Vidyasagar University and Burdwan University have directed the principals of their affiliated colleges not to start the admission process before the JEE results are declared. 

“Colleges should start admitting students only after JEE results are announced. However, we have asked the colleges to start the process of giving out admission forms immediately after the Class XII results are announced,” said Swapan Paramanik, the vice-chancellor of Vidyasagar University. 

Calcutta University has decided to start the admission process for first-year classes in its affiliated undergraduate colleges on June 21. 

“It is a common tendency among many students to take admissions to undergraduate courses before the JEE results are declared to keep both options open. Once they crack the JEE, the students switch to the engineering and medical courses, leaving the seats they had already occupied in the colleges vacant. This problem is faced by many of our colleges. This time, I will ask the principals of the colleges to start the admission process to first-year classes a bit late,” said Alok Banerjee, the vice-chancellor of Kalyani University. 

The universities have also requested the state joint entrance examination board to start the counselling process earlier this year. 

Sidhartha Dutta, the chairman of the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board, said he was aware of the problem. “We understand the problem faced by the colleges. We are trying to complete the counselling of the JEE students early,” Dutta said. 

80 donate land in reformer memory – CM Buddhadeb too worried to make time ?!! 

A file photo of a rally taken out by the committee demanding the Panchanan Barma University - will Buddadeb listen ?!!

 

BY MAIN UDDIN CHISTI 

Cooch Behar, May 12: More than 80 people at Khalisamari have donated 336 bighas of land to a committee formed to demand a university in memory of the Rajbangshi social reformer Panchanan Barma in his home town. 

“A movement to demand a university named after Thakur Panchanan Barma at Khalisamari has been going on for years. We had recently appealed for land, and 80 people had come forward to donate plots around the house where Panchanan Barma lived in,” said Rajarshi Biswas, one of the main persons behind the movement for the university. 

Panchanan Barma (1865-1935) is regarded by the Rajbangshis in Cooch Behar and adjoining Assam as their greatest emancipator. Khalisamari is in Mathabhanga subdivision, about 55km from Cooch Behar town. 

Biswas said the drive had begun in March and more people had expressed willingness to offer land. “The residents are all supportive of the cause as it is a great pride for them to have a university named after the great personality in the place of his birth,” he added. 

The donors have signed on non-judicial stamp papers while handing over the land to the committee. 

Debashis Das, another person linked to the movement, said a delegation had met the additional district magistrate of Cooch Behar and handed him a memorandum addressed to the chief minister. “In the memorandum, they demanded that a bill be passed in the Assembly for the creation of the university and mentioned the fact that land had already been acquired for the purpose.” 

The secretary of the committee, Girindranath Barman, said a convention would be organised at Khalisamari on Sunday as part of the movement. 

Bijoy Roy, one of the land donors, said he was proud to be a part of the movement. “I had 70 bighas of land and have donated 20 bighas for the cause. If the university comes up, it will not only be a great tribute to Thakur Panchanan Barma, but will also provide education to the youths in our area,” said Roy. 

The chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, unveiled a statue of Panchanan Barma at Khalisamari in 2004. The state government has also taken over his house and plans to create a museum there. 

“When the chief minister looks at our demand, he will definitely agree to it,” said a committee member.

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