WBSU undertakes measures to attract more first generation learners
Kolkata: West Bengal State University (WBSU) is taking a slew of measures to attract more number of first generation learners in pursuing higher education in its affiliated colleges.
"We are introducing Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) from this academic year in all our three streams- Arts, Commerce and Science. First generation learners form a large chunk of students enrolled in our varsity. Making them understand the modalities of CBCS is a big challenge. We have urged the principals of all our affiliated colleges to take up sensitization in their own possible way to reach out to these students,' said Basab Chaudhuri, Vice-Chancellor of WBSU.
It may be mentioned that as many as 46 colleges in North 24 Parganas are affiliated to WBSU with an average enrollment of 55,000. In WBSU's affiliated colleges at Basirhat and Chadraketugarh, there are more than 90 percent first generation learners.
The Vice-Chancellor himself has reached out to a number of its affiliated colleges to have an idea of the real picture in the remote areas where students often opt out in the middle of their study as they have to take the burden of the family.
"We have seen that as we move away beyond the city airport, the number of first generation learners automatically goes up. In East Calcutta Girl's College located in Lake Town, there are 20 percent of first generation learners while at Ramkrishna Sarada Mission at Nagerbazar the figure is 60 percent.
I have tried to inculcate the idea among the affiliated colleges that our mandate should not be similar to that of the universities located in the heart of the city," Chaudhuri said. The VC has instructed its affiliated colleges to issue admission forms with a column mentioning the educational qualifications and vocation of the students' parents.
"Our aim is to reach out to the needy students who have the zeal for higher education with some sort of assistance in our own possible means. A university like us has a role to play in terms of social justice and empowerment," Chaudhuri said.
He expressed his optimism that armed with a scientific statistics of the varsity's commitment in imparting education to first generation learners, WBSU can emerge as a parameter for assessment from National Assessment and Accreditation Council.