West Bengal to Make Bengali Mandatory as 2nd Language in English Medium Schools
The West Bengal cabinet gave its approval on Monday for a significant change in private English medium schools, requiring Bengali to be taught as a compulsory second language. This decision was announced by a senior official following a cabinet meeting led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Additionally, the cabinet endorsed the establishment of an Education Commission aimed at addressing grievances lodged against private schools.
The official stated that while there were already provisions for studying Bengali as a second language, many students tended to opt for Hindi or other languages instead. Consequently, there has been an issue with students not adequately learning Bengali. In response to this concern, the state cabinet has decided to alter the situation by making Bengali mandatory as the second language across all private English medium schools in the state.
The Education Commission, modeled after the Health Commission and led by a retired judge, will be tasked with investigating complaints related to private schools. These complaints range from exorbitant tuition fee increases during the pandemic to concerns about curriculum and examination procedures. The official expressed that the commission's formation is intended to address these diverse concerns.
The decision to make Bengali compulsory as a second language was met with appreciation by Bangla Pokkho. The organization's organizing secretary, Kausik Maiti, commended Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Education Minister Bratya Basu, highlighting that the people of Bengal had been eagerly awaiting this development for an extended period.
In addition to this decision, the state cabinet granted approval for the establishment of a committee that will devise a report within the next three months concerning the creation of seven new districts in the state. These new districts will be formed by dividing Nadia, Birbhum, Malda, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Purba, and Paschim Medinipur districts. The committee, comprising senior ministers Firhad Hakim, Arup Biswas, Moloy Ghatak, and Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, along with secretaries from various departments, will oversee this process.
During the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Banerjee emphasized the urgency of implementing all government decisions within 15 days, including those endorsed by the cabinet. She instructed officials to provide a progress report to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) regarding the implementation of these decisions.