Teachers support Visva quota

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  • Published 2.12.14

Santiniketan, Dec. 1: A section of Visva-Bharati school teachers today requested the university not to abolish the 50 per cent quota for students of its two schools in undergraduate courses, saying the move would make the institutions lose their appeal among guardians.

“A large number of people admit their children to the two schools as they are almost assured of their wards’ admission to the undergraduate courses of the varsity. But this becomes uncertain if the quota system is withdrawn. We request the university not to abolish the quota system,” said Kishor Bhattacharya, a teacher of Patha Bhavana.

Visva-Bharati recently scrapped the 50 per cent quota for students of Patha Bhavana and Siksha Satra after repeated prods from the UGC. The decision has sparked protests by the students, who have been boycotting tests for the past two days.

The Adhyapak Sabha, the varsity teachers’ body, has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also the chancellor of Visva-Bharati by virtue of his post. They requested that the matter be sorted out in such a manner that “our students’ interests are taken care of”.

The quota system, according to Visva-Bharati officials, has been in place since the varsity’s inception. Vice-chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta had on Saturday met the students and their guardians and had told them it was not possible to roll back the decision to scrap the quota.

Another teacher of Patha Bhavana today said the importance of the two schools depended much on the quota. “Now if the quota is abolished, we will think twice before admitting our own children to these schools,” the teacher said.

Some of the other teachers said that, minus the quota, parents would feel tempted to put their children in CBSE, ICSE or other schools. Patha Bhavana and Siksha Satra are administered by Visva-Bharati.

Rajesh K. Venugopal, the general secretary of the Adhyapak Sabha, backed the students’ protests against the abolition of the 50 per cent quota system.

“The students are fighting for a genuine cause. The two Visva-Bharati schools are not like any other central government schools. Patha Bhavana was started by Rabindranath Tagore in 1901 and Siksha Satra was set up a few years later. Both are integral to Visva-Bharati. The authorities should keep in mind the future of the students and ensure that they get admission to undergraduate courses of the varsity,” he said.