The West Bengal government has developed the State Education Policy, 2023, which suggests a three-language formula for Classes 5 to 8, with a focus on Bengali, in keeping with the federal spirit of the Constitution and to prevent centralization in education.
“The committee also suggests that Bangla [Bengali] be introduced as a topic for pupils of different mediums of instruction from Class 1 to Class 10. Accordingly, a proper curriculum and syllabus might be created, according to one of the policy document’s recommendations.
The September 5 announcement of the education policy includes plans for the following 13 years.
According to the document, the committee that developed the education policy consulted a number of existing education policies, including the NEP (National Education Policy) 2020 reports and the just-released reports from the Maharashtra Task Force for Implementing NEP 2020 and the Kerala Task Force for Implementing NEP 2020.
Put The Mother Tongue First
The native tongue of the children is emphasised in the three-language formula for kids in Classes 5 through 8. According to the infrastructure and resource availability, a three-language formula will be implemented in schools for students in classes 5 through 8. According to the policy paper, “it is recommended that the first language (mother tongue) would be the medium of instruction of the school, for example, Bengali in a Bangla-medium school, Rajbanshi in a Rajbanshi-medium school, and Nepali in a Nepali-medium school.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, had previously promoted the three-language formula and the importance of Bengali education for pupils throughout the State. A resolution declaring Poila Baishak, the first day of the Bengali New Year, as the State’s foundation day and the Rabindranath Tagore song “Banglar Maati Banglar Jol” as the State’s anthem was approved by the Assembly on September 7.
Because it proposes doing away with the Class 10 board examination, the State’s Education Policy has resisted shifting the school structure to a 5+3+3+4 system from the current model. The current educational system in West Bengal is organised according to a 5+4+2+2 design. The policy document proposes that the same structure be maintained in the State.
School Year System
Another important provision in the State Education Policy is to implement the semester system gradually over the course of the next three years beginning with Class 8 in order to improve assessments. The new policy emphasises tough schoolwork at the upper secondary level, involvement in extracurricular activities, examining numerous career options, as well as a semester system in Classes 11 and 12 to ease the transition from school to university gradually.
In terms of higher education, the new policy suggests raising the gross enrollment ratio (GER), revising the current strategy for higher education expansion, sharing resources between universities and colleges, and improving students’ employability. A constant recommendation for allocating 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for education has been made, according to the document, from the Kothari Commission to the National Education Policy 2020.
Since education is listed on the Concurrent List of the Constitution, the central government must take the appropriate actions and assist the state governments in allocating a proportionate share of state GDP for education, according to the policy statement.
It states that systematic private financing should be promoted in addition to state investment.