EDUCATION & PAROCHIAL DISCRIMINATION: Hill college strike from today – Teacher smells plot in SFI allegation – Morcha campus shutdown till October 5 – atrocious and discriminatory results issue deliberately left out of report, too embarrassing for a parochial Bengal ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, Sept. 29: The Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha has called a strike in all the 15 colleges across the hills from tomorrow till October 5 to fulfil several demands the outfit had placed before North Bengal University.
The strike is a fallout of the poor results in Part I and Part II exams of undergraduate courses recently, sparking protests from the students as well as the teaching fraternity, who had accused the NBU of gross negligence.
Nima Sherpa, the press and publicity secretary of the student wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said they had a prolonged meeting today at Darjeeling Government College with those representing the hill colleges in the NBU’s executive council and the under-graduate council.
“None of them could give us satisfactory answers regarding the poor results and other demands that we had raised from time to time. We have called the strike as a last resort and we will not allow the salaries of the teachers and the non-teaching staff to be disbursed during the period,” said Sherpa.
Many institutions like Darjeeling Government College had registered a pass percentage of only about 30 in the exams. Barring Ghoom-Jorebunglow Degree College and Southfield College, results were pathetic in other institutions also.
Sherpa also said the students were demanding a change in the academic session of the colleges on the lines of the schools in the hills. At present, the academic year of the schools begins in March and ends in November, while classes are held in the colleges from July to April.
“We also demand that the NBU’s exam timings be also changed. The varsity holds exams from 2pm and 5pm, making it very difficult for students to return home, especially in remote places because of lack of transport,” said Nima.
He said the NBU had not yet responded to the demand for the reassessment of Part I and Part II exam answer papers without fees. “We had given the NBU time till tomorrow to respond and they have not said anything yet. They have also shown little compassion for students from the hills as many of them had failed in exams by just a single mark. If there is no response to these demands, the strike will continue beyond October 5,” he said.
However, the Vidyarthi Morcha will allow the MSc post-graduate exams slated for October 1 and 4 to take place.
Slap slur on professor – Scandalous – politically from the frying pan into the fire, just not culturally adept at education, is Bengal ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Sept. 29: A third-year student of a college, who was admitted to the district hospital here today after she fainted, alleged that she was slapped by a professor on the campus.
Sudeshna Dutta said the professor, a member of the Trinamul Congress’s education cell, had picked on her because she was an SFI member. An FIR has been filed against two teachers.
A student of philosophy (honours), Sudeshna, alleged that Krishna Pal, a lecturer of history at Siliguri College, had used abusive language before slapping her when she tried to return her a book.
“Since my attendance was low I had gone to the staff room yesterday to get permission from the head of the department to attend classes. As soon as she saw me, Krishna Ma’am started scolding me for not returning her book. Sangeeta Raha, a teacher of our department, too, joined her. She abused me saying I was a girl of loose morals. I left the room saying that I would return the book tomorrow,” Sudeshna said from her hospital bed.
Today, around 2.30pm Sudeshna along with some of her friends had gone to return the book to Pal.
“Today too she used filthy language. When I tried to say something in my defence she slapped me in front of my friends,” Sudeshna said. She was admitted to the hospital by her classmates after she fainted. “The book is just an excuse and Krishna Ma’am is victimising me for being a SFI supporter,” Sudeshna said.
SFI supporters confined the teachers in the staff room for over two hours demanding action against Pal. They withdrew the siege after principal, Malay Karanjai, assured them that a Teacher’s Council meeting would be held tomorrow to discuss the issue.
“We demand the college authorities to take strict action against Pal. She is always victimising students for supporting the SFI,” Amit Goswami, the general-secretary of the SFI-backed union at the college said.
Both Raha and Pal have denied allegations against them.
“I have not slapped her. Sudeshna had borrowed the book from me two years ago. The girl was not coming to college after the third-year classes began. I had just asked her to return my book. This is a tactics of the SFI to malign me because I am a Trinamul supporter,” Pal who is also the convener of the Trinamul education cell said.
“We have had more than 100 classes and Sudeshna’s attendance is only eight. What are we teachers here for if we can’t even tell a student to attend classes regularly,” Raha said.
“The girl had fainted but she is stable,” said Sreshendu Paul, the doctor who treated Sudeshna said.
AND ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE
Exposure trip for teens – Army hosts kashmiri students – a gentle dose of the Gorkha beauty, culture of tolerance and patience ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Kalimpong, Sept. 29: A 25-member team of students from Jammu and Kashmir were hosted for two days by the army here as part of its Sadbhawna tour programme, providing the young minds an exposure to a world beyond their strife-torn state.
The students from Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi and Doda in the Valley were brought here by the Striking Lions Division of the army, headquartered at the Durpin hills, about 3km from the town. Most of the students are from Class IX to XII
“This is an educational-cum-motivational tour for these youngsters. The aim is to expose these fresh minds to the world outside the Valley,” said an army officer.
During the course of their stay that ended today, the students were taken to tourist hotspots in and around the town. They also interacted with the army officers and local people. “We are very grateful to the army for providing this opportunity to us. We have learned so many things from this tour. We can go back home and play a constructive role in our society,” said Altaf Hussein, a student.
Some among the students were victims of militancy that has been raging in Kashmir for two decades now. “I lost my mother to militants. Two of my brothers were also injured. We want the circle of violence to end as quickly as possible,” said Mohammed Rafiq, another student.
His friend Mohammed Yousuf said only a handful of people were engaged in violence. “There is not much disturbance now. A few created problem taking advantage of a weak political system.” The Class XII student said he wanted to join the IAS.
The students were introduced to the general-officer-commanding of the division Maj. Gen. B.K. Sharma today. They later left for Darjeeling. The students will also visit Sikkim before returning home.