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Poor quality blame on teachers

Calcutta, Aug. 20: Eminent academicians today cited a dearth of quality teachers and the neglect of duties by some as the reasons behind the downfall in the standards of higher education in Bengal.

Bengal has lost its past glory in terms of producing the country’s best intellects due to a “tremendous paucity” of efficient teachers in colleges and universities, they said at a function in the Assembly where the report of a study on development of higher education conducted by Bengal Initiative, a pressure group operating here since 1905, was released.

“The quality of human resources in Bengal is still one of the best in the country. But overall development of higher education in the state has gone down. This has happened because there is tremendous paucity of good faculty members in the colleges and universities,” said Bikash Sinha, director of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and vice-chancellor of the state technological university.

The view was reflected in the report. The group suggested that the government take a string of measures to ensure quality higher education, including campaigning against private tuition by teachers, and make it a point that each institution has prominent speakers to address students on a regular basis.

Members regretted that instead of teaching students in the institutions, a section of teachers were busy with private tutorial classes most of the time.

The report was released in the presence of higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty, speaker H.A Halim, and other ministers.

Earlier, some members pointed out that a large number of meritorious students from Bengal is seeking admissions to science and technology institutes in other states and urged the government to stem the flow.

The report said there was a need for more seats in higher education, but new institutions should be set up only after ensuring that existing ones were fully utilised. Higher education should be open to only those who deserve it, the report stressed.

It also mentioned a need to strengthen the system of imparting teaching of spoken English to students in engineering institutions.

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