The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Storm signals over Urdu bar in B.Ed

Members of the Urdu-speaking community are up in arms against the Calcutta University (CU) authorities for deciding not to allow honours graduates and post-graduates in Urdu to take up bachelor in education (B.Ed) courses.

On the basis of the decision, seven B.Ed institutions in the city affiliated to the CU have stopped admitting students who have passed CU’s BA honours and MA courses in Urdu.

The B.Ed degree is compulsory for candidates seeking teaching jobs in government-recognised secondary schools. Graduates and post-graduates are eligible for the B.Ed course.

Protesting the move, Urdu-speaking academicians and teachers have written to the CU authorities, demanding immediate withdrawal of the decision. “The university, with this arbitrary decision, cannot debar honours graduates and master’s degree-holders in Urdu from studying the B.Ed course. We will take up the matter with the higher authorities in the government if the university does not look into the matter,” said Kaiser Shamim, vice-chairman of the West Bengal Urdu Academy.

University sources say graduates and master’s degree-holders in Urdu are not being allowed to study the university’s B.Ed course because of certain deficiencies in the contents of the BA honours and MA (Urdu) syllabi.

Senior teachers of Urdu at various schools and colleges in Calcutta feel nearly 100 Urdu-medium schools may find it difficult to recruit trained teaching staff if the university continues to “deprive” the graduates and master’s degree-holders of a chance to study B.Ed.

Dismissing the CU argument, state Urdu academy officials said: “The reason cited by the Calcutta University authorities is not acceptable, because the Urdu course at the honours level fetches the same marks as the courses offered by the university in any other subject.”

“If a student who passes the honours course, for example, in English, covering a total of 300 marks, can be allowed to study B.Ed, there is no reason why those passing the same in Urdu should be debarred from studying the course,” said officials.

Students belonging to the Urdu departments of various under-graduate colleges have threatened to launch a movement soon if the university takes a long time to withdraw the decision.

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