The West Bengal cabinet on Monday approved a proposal to make Bengali mandatory as a second language in private English medium schools, a senior official said.
The cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, also gave its nod to set up an Education Commission to look into complaints against private schools, he said.
“Though there are options to study Bengali as a second language, most students prefer Hindi or other languages. As a result, students are not learning Bengali properly. Today, the state cabinet decided to change it, and make Bengali compulsory second language in all private English medium schools in the state,” the official told PTI.
The Education Commission will be set up on the lines of the Health Commission with a retired judge as its head, he said
“During the pandemic, we received several complaints about private schools increasing tuition fees excessively. Also, there were complaints regarding the syllabus and the way that exams were conducted. This commission will look into all these issues,” the official said.
Welcoming the decision to make Bengali mandatory as a second language, Bangla Pokkho congratulated the chief minister and Education Minister Bratya Basu.
“People of Bengal have been waiting for this decision for a long time,” said Kausik Maiti, the organising secretary of the outfit that works for promoting the Bengali language.
The state cabinet also gave it for the formation of a committee that will submit a report to the government in the next three months on the creation of seven new districts in the state.
Nadia, Birbhum, Malda, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Purba, and Paschim Medinipur districts will be divided to create these seven new districts, the official said.
Senior ministers Firhad Hakim, Arup Biswas, Moloy Ghatak, and Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi will be the members of this committee, besides secretaries of other departments, he said.
At the meeting, Banerjee also fixed a 15-day deadline for the implementation of all the decisions of the state government, including those taken by the cabinet.
She asked officers to submit a report on the implementation to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the officer said.