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Bengal’s school environment degrades due to non-compliance, warns education board

March 2, 2024
Mita Mukherjee
The overall ambience of state-aided schools in Bengal are “getting vitiated” due to non-compliance of several instructions given to the institutions by the state secondary education board.
 
The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education which affiliates the state-aided schools had repeatedly sent directives on what measures schools should take to ” uphold effective internal functioning” of their institutions.  But the board has reports that many schools were not adhering to the instructions, the board said.
 
The board on Friday sent a notification to heads of all state-aided schools to strictly follow the directives and ensure that a “positive atmosphere” is maintained on the campuses.
 
“This has been brought to the knowledge of the board that the ambience of schools are getting vitiated due to non-compliance of the various directions given in the enclosed notification ….. under the heading Prayer/ Assembly, Attendance in Bounden Duties.. I am directed to reiterate to all stakeholders……. to strictly adhere to the instructions …. and uphold the effective internal functioning of the schools which qualifies the quality of school and teacher effectiveness, thus creating a positive atmosphere, fostering a sense of trust, mutual respect, and open communication between all stakeholders, which in turn resulting in a more engaged and motivated teaching- learning process,” the notification issued to the schools read.
 
The board made it mandatory for all schools to hold morning prayer and assembly on regular basis and directed the schools to ensure that all teachers and non-teaching staff reach the campuses before the prayer or assembly.
 
Allegations of teachers arriving late are common in many schools in Bengal and they continue to be routinely late despite repeated reminders, an official of the board said.
 
The board made it mandatory for schools to hold morning prayers everyday to inculcate discipline and teaching good habits to students.
Most state aided schools in Bengal had done away with holding prayers during the rule of the erstwhile Left Front government in conformity with its policy to keep religion out of educational institutions.
 
In its directive to the schools issued in December last year, the board had reminded that it was mandatory for all teachers and non-teaching staff to attend morning prayer and assembly to be held between 10.40 and 10.50am and the staff are to be marked late if they do not attend the prayer, the board had said.
 
“But a section of teachers and non-teaching staff would invariably come late and would not attend the prayer” the headmaster of school in Kolkata said.
 
According to the headmaster it is difficult to take action  against the errant staff because of interference of local political leaders.
The board in its March 1 notification reminded the schools, ” The people in the state of West Bengal, has always been a leading beacon of light for the country due to their commitment towards education and culture  and the schools have been the cradle for imbibing leadership spirit, innovative minds and creative excellence. Imperatively, therefore discipline and compliance towards attaining the benchmark set, all concerned are reminded for maintenance in standards in School Education.”
 
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