Bengal govt planning to setup a separate board for English medium schools

To affiliate English-medium schools in West Bengal that are currently affiliated to other boards, the school education department is examining a proposal to set up an exclusive board, as per PTI. The proposed board will be an addition to other boards such as CISCE and CBSE, among others, that affiliate most of the English-medium schools in the state.

English Medium Schools
Image: TOI.

There are some schools under the CISCE in Bengal that do not abide by the state government’s education policy. Instead, they are keen on following the Centre. The government has no problem if these schools fall in line. But if they continue to ignore the state government, then they will take a step forward in setting up a separate board through appropriate legislation.

The idea is the result of an earlier representation of nine minority school principals who in the state assembly called Education minister Partha Chatterjee and expressed their angst over the CISCE diktat to introduce compulsory examinations in classes V and VIII. Sensing the problem, CISCE secretary and CEO Gerry Arathoon reached out to principals on Monday. He clarified that the assessments in classes V and VIII is only a proposal and the Council has no immediate plans to implement them.

The problem is not with English-medium schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. Setting up another board will throw open the scope for schools from other boards to switch affiliation if they aren’t happy with the existing arrangement. The step would be taken for the sake of the innumerable students in the state who were studying in these schools.

On the other hand, the schools are sailing in two boats. While, some are unhappy with the CISCE’s prescriptions over a uniform curriculum, examinations and fees, most prefer to tread with caution before dumping CISCE to join the new board. They’re wondering how much autonomy the new affiliating body has to offer to us before we make a decision. This is simply a bid to pressurize the other boards and make them follow the state guidelines on school education.

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