EDUCATION: August date for science college – desperate bid to retain Siliguri within Bengal while Darjeeling justly ignored by Bengal ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, June 28: The Government Science College at Himanchal Vihar will be inaugurated by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the third week of August.
“The construction is nearly complete and the college will probably be inaugurated by the chief minister in the third week of August,” said Asok Bhattacharya, the minister for urban development, at a media conference today.
He said the construction had been undertaken by the Siliguri-Jalpiaguri Development Authority and the total cost was Rs 458.63 lakh.
“If the teaching posts are filled up on time, we will try to start the classes from the 2010-2011 academic session,” Bhattacharya said. The minister is also the chairperson of the SJDA.
Initially, the science college will offer honours courses in physics, chemistry, zoology, mathematics, botany, computer applications and English.
“According to the suggestion given by the CM, we have decided to name the institution after the famous scientist Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray. This is to commemorate the scientist’s 150th birth anniversary this year. We are also trying to start post-graduate courses in the future,” said Bhattacharya.
The college at Matigara, 6km from here, will be able to accommodate 25 students in botany and zoology and 45 students in chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer applications and English courses.
At present there are only two colleges in Siliguri — Surya Sen and Siliguri College — that offer science courses and the total number of seats is 291 (honours and general).
“The state higher education department has set up the institution to cater to the growing demand for science subjects among the students. Candidates who pass out with good results from different boards aspire to get enrolled in the science stream. But there is a dearth in the number of seats available. This college will to some extent solve the problem,” the minister said.
He added that 20 posts for teachers hade been sanctioned, three each for the science courses and two for English. “We have also begun the process of recruiting them,” Bhattacharya said.
State go-slow on schools’ no-fail policy – illiterate expansion program ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Calcutta, June 28: The Bengal government will not immediately introduce the policy of not detaining students till Class VIII as stipulated in the Centre’s right to education act.
School education minister Partha De told the Assembly during Question Hour today a final decision to do away with the screening of students between Classes V and VIII would be taken after a survey on its pros and cons and an understanding of how to negate any possible adverse impact.
“The survey will be held to examine the progress of students under the present system in which laggards are held back (after Class IV). We will also find out to what extent the students will benefit if there is no annual screening. A decision on scrapping the annual exams and detention of students will be taken on the basis of the survey’s findings,” De said in response to a question from the RSP’s Jane Alam Mian.
Schools — government, government-aided and private — across boards cannot detain students till Class VIII under Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Act, which was recently passed in Parliament. The law has become effective from April 1.
One of its clauses states no child shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education at the age of 14, a source in the education department said.
“It is a central legislation and it can’t be rejected. But before we accept the provision dealing with no-detention till Class VIII, we must know what measures need to be taken to ensure that the new policy works out successfully and students can really benefit from it. We need time to adopt the new law,” the minister said.
De did not mention a timeframe within which the existing system — of no detention till Class IV — would be scrapped. Nor does the law specify any deadline for the implementation of the new policy, education officials said.
Many teachers feel the state is delaying the process because of its lack of education infrastructure. “Once the no-detention policy is implemented, the demand for junior high schools (Classes V to VIII) will considerably increase. The policy will not work if the state government does not set up enough such schools,” a primary school teacher said.
There are about 12,000 junior high and secondary schools in Bengal but that may not be enough to accommodate the possible increase in the number of students if the no-detention policy is implemented.
Annual exams are not held in Bengal’s 59,000-odd state-aided primary schools (till Class IV). But many students drop out after failing to clear their Class V annual exams.
What the teacher meant was that if these students didn’t drop out, the state would find it difficult to give them room to sit.