EDUCATION: Heads roll in teacher selection – about time ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Aug. 19: The school education department today suspended the chairman of the district primary school council of Jalpaiguri and ordered departmental proceedings against the district inspector of schools for their role in recruiting primary teachers.
Ever since the publication of results by the DPSC to recruit 1,411 primary teachers in Jalpaiguri district in July, several political parties and organisations, including the DYFI, have alleged corruption and nepotism in the recruitment. Demonstrations and blockades have taken place across the district, alleging that the council has recruited the near and dear ones of CPM leaders.
The protests had prompted the department to form a five-member team led by a joint secretary, who investigated the allegation and submitted a report. Today’s order for the suspension of Mrinal Pal, official sources said, is a follow-up action on the report.
Vandana Yadav, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri who received a letter from principal secretary of the department Vikram Sen, said: “It has been said the DPSC chairman has not complied properly with the instructions of the department in recruiting primary teachers in July this year. He has thus been suspended from his post. It has also been mentioned in the letter that the department is not satisfied with the role of the DI (primary), who is also the DPSC secretary. A departmental proceedings will be started against him,” she added.
The principal secretary has mentioned that so far more than 1,000 complaints have been received by the department. “The letter has made it clear that during further investigation if any anomaly is noticed in the answer scripts and the overall evaluation process, the undeserving candidate or candidates concerned, who might have got the jobs will be sacked,” an official said.
Since the post of the chairman fell vacant following Pal’s suspension, a meeting of the DPSC board will be called soon to select a new one. Pal, who was a school teacher, took charge in 2008 for a three-year term. He used to draw salary for being the chairman and enjoy other benefits of the post. “Now that he has been suspended, we are yet to know what would happen to him,” a DPSC source said. Pal could not be contacted.
Kaushik Roy, the DI (primary), refused comment.
The Youth Congress, which has been carrying out a movement on the issue, welcomed the suspension and inquiry but demanded that both Pal and Roy be arrested. “We want the department to cancel the appointments of all those who are related to CPM leaders and have got jobs,” said Saikat Chatterjee, the Jalpaiguri district Youth Congress president.
District CPM leaders were not available for comments.
Principal & staff picked – Faculty for Malda medical college, PG for existing one – a shift in focus after too many problems at NBMCH perhaps ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU
Aug. 19: The state cabinet has appointed a principal for the upcoming medical college in Malda and has selected 10 members as its faculty.
In another step towards the expansion of medical education in the state, a three-member health ministry team visited the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri to inspect the existing infrastructure and staffing pattern before recommending upgrade of some disciplines to the post-graduate level from the 2011-12 session.
Speaking over the phone from Calcutta, state environment minister Sailen Sarkar, who is also the CPM MLA from Malda and was present at yesterday’s cabinet meeting in Writers’ Buildings, said the government wanted to start the medical college from the next academic year and would admit 100 students.
“The assistant superintendent of SSKM Hospital, Debashis Bhattacharya, will be the first principal of the medical college. The state government has decided that the two other medical colleges in Murshidabad and North 24-Parganas will also have hundred seats each,” the minister said.
Malda district magistrate Pramal Kumar Samanta said he had already given instructions to set aside a room at the circuit house for the new principal.
The architects have finished designing the college building that would cost Rs 300 crore, principal secretary of health, Manabendranath Roy, had said during his visit here on August 13.
He said the government wanted to create new infrastructure before a team from the Medical Council of India came for an inspection.
In Siliguri, B.B. Thakural, who headed the team from Delhi, said the NBMCH tour was part of a survey to inspect the prevailing infrastructure and assess the shortages.
“The Union ministry of health and family welfare has decided to allocate funds to the hospitals and medical colleges to upgrade infrastructure and install new machinery and instruments so that the departments can be upgraded to the PG level,” said Thakural. Supriya Gupta and S.P. Sharma were the other members of the team which arrived in Siliguri yesterday.
“We will submit our report on the infrastructure and funds required to upgrade the different departments before the Board of Governors (of the health ministry) in Delhi,” Thakural said before leaving.
At present there are 20 departments at the NBMCH and 11 of them offer post-graduate courses. Seven more are being considered for upgrade to the PG level. “Although we have proposed PG studies in ophthalmology and ENT, the team took stock of the departments of psychology, micro-biology, bio-chemistry, radio-therapy and thermocology. They have recommended that we increase the staff in some of these disciplines,” said NBMCH principal J.B. Saha.
“The team will recommend upgrading wherever necessary. The central government will provide 75 per cent of the funds while the state government’s contribution will be 25 percent. The PG courses will start from the 2011-2012 academic session,” he added.
Porn MMS sets off school mobile ban – the bane of technology in children’s hands ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY ANSHUMAN PHADIKAR
Tamluk, Aug. 19: More than half of the government-aided schools in East Midnapore have banned students from carrying cellphones to class after some boys were caught sending MMS of pornographic video clips to girls at a Tamluk school earlier this month.
District inspector of schools Dipankar Roy said there was no law against carrying cellphones to class in government-run and government-aided schools. “Phones are banned only in exam halls. However, most high schools in the district (and in Calcutta) have banned students from bringing cellphones,” he said.
Tamluk High School is the first school in the district to have imposed the ban after some girls complained that a few of their male classmates were sending MMS of pornographic clippings downloaded from the Internet to them. This is probably the first time in Bengal that such an incident has been reported.
Teachers also complained to the school authorities that students were listening to music on their cellphones.
However, during a surprise check last week, teachers confiscated cellphones from 40 Class XI and Class XII students.
“We told their parents that if their children were found with phones on the school campus again, they would be expelled,” said Tushyamitra Maity, the headmaster of Tamluk High School.
Soon, more than 200 of the 400 high schools in the district imposed a similar ban.
Somnath Mishra, the headmaster of Hamilton High School in Tamluk, said there was rampant use of cellphones by senior students in his school. “Although ours is a boys’ school, we decided to ban students from using cellphones in class after hearing what happened at Tamluk High School,” Mishra said.
The authorities of Kolaghat Thermal Power Project High School said they had asked the teachers to “keep a strict watch on students” so that they cannot bring cellphones to school.
School education minister Partha De said: “We have not issued any specific instructions to schools. But schools can always ban students from using phones in class.” Most private schools in the state do not allow students to use mobile phones on the premises.
Slap damages ear
A Class XII student was left with a damaged eardrum after the headmaster of his Asansol school allegedly slapped him. Manojit Halder said Somnath Majumdar slapped him when he went to his room to inform him that a lady teacher had called the headmaster to the common room.