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M’rashtra, Bengal told to take stock of education-for-all plan

Urmi A GOSWAMI

Friday 30 January 2004, by GOSWAMI*Urmi A.

NEW DELHI : Even progressive states like West Bengal and Maharastra are not implementing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan properly. While West Bengal hasn’t hired the sanctioned 63,000 teachers, Maharastra is far from putting up the required infrastructure.

HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi has written to Maharastra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to review the implementation of the abhiyan in the state.

A senior official in the HRD ministry said West Bengal ’s performance in the field of education is just above Bihar . Implementing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan shouldn’t have been a problem in a state like West Bengal which has a strong panchayat system.

According to HRD ministry official, the problem in West Bengal is two-fold. The first is a lack of co-ordination. The department of education in the state is not involved in hiring teachers, this, sources say, was done to avoid falling prey to the overtly unionised teachers in the state and to reduce costs.

Therefore, teachers are being hired by the panchayats and municipal departments, while there is a general freeze on hiring teachers by the education department. Implementation of the programme is being done through the rural development department and panchayats. This requires a great deal of co-ordination, which is lacking.

P.S.

The Economic Times, Friday, January 30th, 2004.

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