Bengal cancels approval of 253 private B.Ed colleges after probing allegations
The state’s action comes months after Bengal governor C V Ananda Bose said he would cancel the approval of a number of private B.Ed colleges
Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Friday cancelled the approval of 253 of the state’s 624 private colleges that offer the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) course for aspiring school teachers after investigations revealed anomalies and malpractices at these institutions, officials said.
“The action is applicable for academic year 2023-24. There were allegations against many of these colleges that they were issuing fake certificates. Many others were found to be having unacceptable teacher-student ratio,” Soma Bandopadhyay, vice-chancellor of West Bengal University of Teachers’ Training, Education Planning and Administration, told the media.
B.Ed colleges cannot operate without approval from this university.
“The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has set strict guidelines for colleges issuing B.Ed certificates. The criterion it has set must be followed,” Bandopadhyay added.
The state’s action comes months after Bengal governor C V Ananda Bose said he would cancel the approval of a number of private B.Ed colleges.
Raj Bhawan has received complaints of illegal activities against several institutions, Bose, the chancellor of all state-run universities, said in August.
The crackdown took place amid the ongoing probe into the bribe-for-job scam in the state education department in which education minister Partha Chatterjee was arrested last year. He is still in judicial custody.
In May, 2022, Calcutta high court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the appointment of non-teaching staff (Group C and D) and teaching staff by the West Bengal School Service Commission and the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education between 2014 and 2021.
The appointees allegedly paid bribes in the range of ₹5 lakh to ₹15 lakh to get jobs after failing the selection tests, investigations revealed, leading the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to start a parallel probe into the money trail.
One cannot apply for a school teacher’s job without a B.Ed certificate.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and his wife have been questioned by ED in the bribe-for-job case.
“You are trying to tag me to the job scam because you could not do anything to me in the cattle and coal smuggling cases. You are summoning my wife and parents as well. We will not bow before you,” Banerjee said on Friday at a rally at Diamond Harbour, his Lok Sabha constituency, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of using federal agencies for political gains.
“It is the court that ordered the inquiry. Where does BJP figure in this?” state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said.