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4+1 format in higher education advantageous for students: Mamata

June 2, 2023

In the backdrop of some teachers’ bodies slamming the West Bengal government’s move to introduce a four-year honours course at the undergraduate level from this academic year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on June 1, said that the decision to adapt to the new system was taken so that students from the state could compete at the national level.

Noting that the new policy, recommended by the UGC, would be advantageous for students as they would now require only one year to complete their Masters degree, Banerjee said that her government had to accept it because other states were adapting to it.

“Those who have passed Class XII must remember that earlier, we used to see three years were needed to complete graduation. Now, a change has been brought in.

“Those pursuing graduation in ‘pass course’ will need three years to complete the course while those in honours courses will require four years as suggested by the UGC. There is an advantage. You will require only one year to complete your Masters degree. So the matter remains the same,” Banerjee said.

She was speaking at a programme to facilitate the toppers of the board examinations.

“If other states are accepting it and we do not, then our students will not be able to compete with them (at the national level). That is the reason we had to adapt to it,” she said.

The West Bengal government on Wednesday announced the introduction of a four-year honours course at the undergraduate level in all government and state-aided higher educational institutions from this academic session.

It said that the decision was taken after holding talks with all stakeholders and on the recommendation of a state-appointed expert panel which had suggested rolling out a four-year UG course from the 2023-24 academic year.

It will replace the existing three-year course.

The state education department, however, has clarified that it has not adopted the National Education Policy (NEP) and instead would soon upload its own education policy.

While several teachers’ bodies slammed the decision to introduce a four-year honours course, a pro-Trinamool Congress professors’ body said the state should not lag when the same 4+1 formula (four-year UG and one-year PG) is being rolled out in the rest of the country from this academic year.

The key features of the National Education Policy, 2020, include a four-year honours course at the UG level in place of the existing three years and a one-year postgraduate course instead of two years, or a 4+1 format in place of the erstwhile 3+2 system.

The CM congratulated the students for their results in the board examinations and assured those who came from economically poor backgrounds of all sorts of assistance to pursue higher education.

“I would like to congratulate all the parents, teachers, and institutions for guiding these students in achieving their goals despite all the hurdles. I am proud to say that ICSE, and CBSE have fared so well,” she said.

Banerjee claimed that her government has spent Rs 1.5 crore to help at least 50,000 students to pursue higher studies.

The CM also inaugurated the ‘Students’ Credit Card Mobile App’ and ‘Education Ecosystem Portal’, which has been built to provide easy access to education.

“There are students who have written to me about their economic instability to support higher studies. I will tell them not to worry. I have gone through all the letters personally and handed them over to the chief secretary. The education minister and secretary are here and they will take care of the matter,” Banerjee said.

She also asked state Education Minister Bratya Basu to keep a letterbox at the department so that financially unstable students can write their applications.

“Take quick measures and keep me informed,” she added.

Source: PTI

Also Read: WB: Summer vacation in schools extended till June 15

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