The West Bengal education department has notified the new State Education Policy (SEP), which maintains the existing pattern of school education.
The Ministry of Education published a notice on September 9 advocating the continuation of the state’s 5+4+2+2 school structure.
“Whereas the State Government has considered the need to revamp its existing education system starting from pre-primary education to higher education in the State of West Bengal to ensure higher standard of education to all students with special focus on marginalised, underprivileged and underrepresented groups,” the statement said.
“And while the state government has constituted an expert committee comprising eminent educationists for this purpose,” the notification said.
The West Bengal government had set up the committee in April 2022 with leading academics – Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Sugata Bose, Suranjan Das – to guide the state in its response to the National Education Policy, which was announced by the Union Cabinet on July 29 had been approved. , 2020, replacing the 34-year-old National Education Policy.
The committee submitted its findings to the West Bengal Education Department earlier this year.
“The said committee, after due deliberation and in consultation with stakeholders… has submitted its recommendations… the state government has finalized the draft of the state education policy 2023 based on the recommendations of the expert committee… the state cabinet has approved the state education policy 2023 in the meeting of August 7…Therefore, in consideration of all the above, the State Education Policy 2023, as annexed hereto, is hereby notified with immediate effect,” the notification said.
An education department official said the SEP has announced to continue with the 5+4+2+2 pattern for school education.
“The policy specified that it started with one year of pre-primary education, four years of primary education up to class 4, two years of secondary education and two years of higher secondary education,” he told PTI.
“The only change in the existing structure is the inclusion of the first two years of education at an Anganwadi center, followed by a year of pre-school education. But the residual structure of primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary would continue to exist,” he said.
At the higher education level, grades 11 and 12, semester-level examinations have been specified “to facilitate the transition from school to university in a phased manner… with a combination of multiple-choice and descriptive questions” in the two semesters.
About the three-language formula, it said: “It will be introduced for students of classes 5 to 8, depending on the availability of infrastructure.” While the mother tongue as the first language will be the medium of instruction (Bengali in Bengali secondary schools, Nepali in Nepali secondary schools, Hindi in Hindi secondary schools), which will also be determined by the linguistic and ethnic profile of the area, the second language will be a language other than the first language, based on student preferences (including English for local media). The third language can be any other language the student chooses, with the exception of the first and second languages.
At the basic level, the policy suggested that Bengali as a subject could be introduced from class 1 for students of other modes of education.
The state has already proposed the 4+1 formula for higher education, with UG honors courses structured for four years instead of three and PG courses for one year instead of two.
Aveek Majumder, member of the expert committee, told PTI: “We are happy that all our recommendations have been accepted by the government. Structuring school education in a rationalistic manner and ensuring a smooth transition to a higher level of study. We hope that our recommendations will help our students to be on an equal footing with their peers at the national and global levels.” He said the recommendation of the expert committee to form a panel at the earliest for implementation of the recommendations will also be accepted by the government.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)