The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nod to code of teacher conduct

Calcutta, Dec. 2: Two bills concerning school education were cleared once the Assembly got back to work after the early morning din.

Among them was the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2003, which authorised the secondary board to formulate a code of conduct for school teachers.

Presenting the bill, school education minister Kanti Biswas said the code was “essential”. Sources in the education department said the bill would tighten the government’s grip on teachers and ensure implementation of its effort to improve the standard of teaching, particularly at the primary level.

The other bill, the West Bengal School Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2003, was aimed at decentralising the School Service Commission. Two new regional offices would be set up to speed up recruitment of teachers. Both bills were passed by voice vote.

Trinamul Congress MLAs said the code of conduct bill was an attempt to snub teachers. They also accused the government of humiliating teachers for the past few years.

But Biswas credited his government with helping teachers establish their rights. “University teachers are guided by a code of conduct formulated by the universities. But there is no such code for the primary and secondary school teachers and we are going to authorise the secondary education board to draw up a code,” Biswas told the Assembly.

Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay of Trinamul said by introducing the bill, the government was trying to establish control over reputed private schools.

The minister said decentralisation of the commission would ensure better services but added that many schools across the state had refused to recruit teachers selected by the commission. “We have specific information and are going to punish such schools. Their affiliations may be withdrawn,” he warned.

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