Millennium Post

Abysmal state

Abysmal state
Beginning January 27, the famous University of Calcutta is at the centre of a raging students' agitation. The students are protesting against the poor pass percentage which saw over 50 per cent of Arts stream student failing in BA part I exams. The failed students are demanding a reevaluation of their answer sheet and to press their demands they are demonstrating outside the University gates, shouting slogans and blocking roads. The state government appears adamant not to accept students' demands with terming the demand unacceptable. He also reminded the students that passing the examination is their responsibility and they cannot demand pass marks after having failed in the examination. "Failing in an examination and then agitating for pass marks is unthinkable and unacceptable," he said. The results were announced on January 25 and the students' agitation began on January 27 after the University reopened that day. The agitation reportedly gained momentum after a failed student committed suicide. Democratic Student Organisation (DSO), the student wing of SUCI (Communist), is leading the agitation, which has called for a mass meeting of intellectuals, parents, and guardians and the students at the gate of Calcutta University campus on Friday. The opposition parties in the state Assembly have blamed the ruling party and its students' wing of causing mismanagement in the University affairs that spoiled the educational environment there, leading to a large number of students failing in the examination. Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad blamed outside elements and rival students' unions of vitiating the University atmosphere and instigating students to agitate against the University and the government. That more than 50 per cent students have failed in the BA Part-I examination clearly indicates the university education has deteriorated to a new low. Blaming the teachers, university education system, or the government is easy but as the West Bengal Education Minister has rightly pointed out, passing the examination is primarily the students' responsibility and they should have been aware of this. A large number of students do not take proper interest in studies and rather create problems in the smooth running of the universities. Most of these students openly flaunt their political affiliations and based on their political hue they keep fomenting trouble leading to suspension of classes and closure of universities and colleges for weeks and months. This attitude does not benefit anyone. Parents who are genuinely interested in quality education try and send their children abroad or a private university elsewhere in the country. But, the deteriorating state of higher education is as much a problem in West Bengal as is anywhere else in the country. Universities in Bihar are a mockery of higher education system in the country. Most of the universities in Bihar have skeleton presence of teachers something like 15 teachers for a student count of 5,000. Many of the departments in these colleges in Bihar have no teachers but hundreds of students. Most of these colleges do not hold a single class in the entire academic session. Still, students fill up the forms for the examinations, sit for the examination, and also secure pass marks, many with distinction. As a matter of the fact, the entire examination system is fixed as we have seen in case of Bihar toppers scam and through some press photographs depicting how mass copying is rampant there. Undoubtedly, the entire higher education system in the country is in a mess with inadequate teachers, impoverished labs and libraries, and politicisation of students. The country is paying dearly by churning out graduates who are good for nothing.
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