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Bengal: Madhyamik pass dropouts want to return to Class XI for Rs 10000 scheme

March 16, 2024
Mita Mukherjee

A decision taken by Mamata Banerjee government to provide Rs 10,000 each to Class XI students from the current 2024-25 academic session to purchase, smart phone/ tablet/ computer has developed an inclination among many Madhyamik (Class X) pass dropouts to seek admission in Class XI this year, heads of schools said.

Under the state government’s Taruner Swapno (dream of youth) scheme, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced this year that from 2024-25 academic session, Rs 10,000 will be provided to every student studying in Classes XI and XII to purchase, smartphone or tablet or computer. Till last year, students of Class XII were only included under the scheme and received Rs 10,000 for buying the devices. The money is transferred to the accounts of the individual students.

Heads of at least ten schools in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Kolkata told EducationWorld that they have received queries from many students for taking admission in Class XI who do not belong to the 2024 Madhyamik batch. This group of students had discontinued studies after Madhyamik, but now they want to be granted admission in Class XI this year, according to the heads. The Class XI admission in higher secondary schools will start in May after the publication of the 2024 Madhyamik results. 

The headmaster of a state-aided higher secondary school in the northern fringe of Kolkata said, queries for seeking admission in Class XI are usually received from students belonging to the batch of the year in which they clear the Class X board exam.

But this year candidates who had passed the Madhyamik in 2023, 2022, 2021, and even before that year are approaching the schools for Class XI admission.

Noticing the new trend, the headmaster said some of these applicants were asked why they have suddenly changed their mind and would want to return to school studies.

“Some had some valid reasons for quitting studies, for example, they had personal health problems or issues in the family. But, most of the students admitted that they were keen to take the admission because of the Rs 10,000 cash that would be made available to them by the government,” said the headmaster.

The headmaster of another school in north Calcutta said a 25-year old candidate approached him with an application seeking a seat in Class XI, for the same reason.

The head of a school in Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas who also received applications from Madhyamik pass dropouts said some of the applicants showed keenness to pursue the higher secondary course because of the introduction of the semester system from this year.

A source in the school education department admitted the trend and said that the tendency is noticed more among students in the rural areas.

According to the official, it is “good” that dropout students are showing interest to return to schools for higher education.

“One of the objectives of the scheme is to attract more students to the higher secondary course. But, the government may face problems if the demand for seats in Class XI increases to a large extent. The schools can face seat shortage if there are too many applicants. Moreover, the government will also have to spend more funds for the scheme,” the official said.

Chiranjeeb Bhattacharya, president of West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education Council which affiliates the higher secondary schools said, the schools have not informed the council about the trend.

But, he said, according to council rules, there are certain limitations for seeking admission in Class XI and students can seek admission in Class XI maximum three years after the year they clear the Madhyamik.

 “We have not received any information from the schools regarding the new trend. We don’t know why Madhyamik pass dropouts are showing interest to come back to school. But if what the schools are saying is true then students must be informed that those who have passed before 2021 will not be eligible to take admission in Class XI this year,” Bhattacharya told EducationWorld.

Also read: Decline in Madhyamik enrolment: Bengal to conduct survey to identify dropouts in govt schools

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