Bengal to have its own education policy as counter to NEP

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee addresses during the launch of her party’s campaign ‘Banglar Garbo Mamata’ ahead of Municipal and Assembly elections across the state, in Kolkata on March 2, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

Kolkata, April 8 (IANS) The tussle between the Union government and the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has now reached the education section.

State Education Minister, Bratya Basu, late on Thursday evening announced that the state government has decided to formulate its own State Education Policy (SEP) and not implement the Union government formulated National Education Policy.

“The Union government, like many other aspects, are trying to force the NEP on the different state governments. However, we are not agreeable to that and hence we have decided to formulate the state’s own education policy,” he told media persons.

A 10-member committee has been constituted to give a report on this count within the next two months. This includes Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, the noted faculty from Colombia University, historian and former Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member, Sugata Basu, former Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University, Suranjan Das and Sanskrit language specialist, Nrishinha Prasad Bhaduri, among others.

Sources from the state Education Department told IANS the committee, before submitting the said report within the next two months, will also study the independent education policies pursued by the non-BJP state government like those in Maharashtra and Kerala.

Bhaduri said that the state government has every right to have its own education policy. “Anyway, it is a welcome move. A country like India with such diversity of culture and huge population can never have a uniform pan- India national education policy,” he said.

According to arguments of the Union government, the national education policy aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3 per cent (2018) to 50 per cent by 2035.

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