“Once was a Centre of Education – Pashim Banga” by Rupa Bhaduri

Bengal has always been known for the learned and the seat of learning. It used to be a prestigious issue to be a student of CU or JU. It was a matter of blue collar  to be a student of Scottish Church or St Xavier or Presidency. Now that is history.
It’s unimaginable today that seats in these colleges are going vacant. There are no takers from within the state, leave alone neighbouring states. The schools under Bengal board are a sorry tale.
Students of classes V and VIII in West Bengal schools fared poorly vis-à-vis states like Gujarat, Kerala and Maharashtra in terms of performance in mathematics, languages, science and social science, reveals the 2017 National Achievement Survey.
As many as 30,000 students in Bengal took the exam from 22 districts, said a senior NCERT official.
The report paints a dismal picture for Bengal, especially as students move up the classes. And shockingly, only 47% teachers are aware of curriculum goals, it says.
While in Class III, 71% students could answer mathematics and environmental science questions correctly, i
In Class V, 48% students answered mathematics questions correctly, followed by 54% in EVS
The percentage hits rock bottom in Class VIII, when only 38% students could answer social science questions correctly, followed by 39% in mathematics, 41% in science
Students from Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Odisha are way above Bengal in Class VIII.
Educationist Amal Mukhopadhyay who has been a principal of erstwhile Presidency College said, “It reveals the poor state of education in Bengal. Education is in a crisis. Largely, the government should have taken control of education. The state of our colleges and universities is not any better.””
Given the above mentioned scenario it is but natural that a big chunk moves out of the state after class X and a bigger % after XII and then to never return except after retirement when the weather, cheaper cost of living and commuting make Bengal an ideal place for old age homes.
Even after becoming software or hardware or basic engineers they don’t get jobs here due to lack of industries or sick industries. The pay scale is also very low and so are not able to attract talents from the rest of the country.
Mamata may be the best candidate for leading people to oppose government measures on the streets. She can hold a city to ransome, to choke a city and bring everything to a grinding halt. This measure endeared her to the poor, uneducated and school drop outs. No women leaders have risen to her stature in this state. So she is the idol of housewives too who have never peeped out of kitchen.
Coming to the Muslims her appeasement plays a demonic role in the vote bank. More so because she is the only leader who holds masters in Islamic history. And this again makes her their saviour.
But Singur has boomeranged very badly. That she had stood against land surrender against monetary compensation, now she is not in a position to acquire land for industrial estate or national /state highways or metro rail.
Without a blue print for the Joka metro plan she started the work on the land that was used for tramways. Reaching Taratala it has now become an expensive showpiece. Indian Mint would not share an inch of land neither would defence from their Fort William land. They have refused to allow underground passage also.