The Trinamool Congress government of West Bengal has brought about a sea change in school education. From setting up thousands of schools to appointing teachers to giving bicycles under the Sabuj Sathi Scheme, Chief Mamata Banerjee’s administration has tried its best to ensure that everyone gets access to quality education. Innumerable schools have been upgraded to secondary and higher secondary levels.
Now, some more measures have been announced with regard to education. To enable everyone to come to school, black shoes have been started to be distributed for free to primary school students, that is, students from classes I to IV, of all government schools. More than 54 lakh students are going to get the shoes.
The government has started giving free test papers to students of class 10 to help them prepare better for Madhyamik examination. Also, some of the books of standards 10 and 12 would be made available for free. The subjects include English, Bengali, Hindi, Santhali, Nepali and Urdu. These new measures would reduce the burden to some extent on many parents.
Under the Sabuj Sathi scheme the West Bengal government has distributed 22.5 lakh cycles among the students of state run or aided and sponsored schools in the current financial year. The figure is highest in the country with Tamil Nadu in second place having distributed 6.5 lakh cycles in one year.
The steps have been taken in such a way that 25 lakh cycles will be distributed by end February.
The state Finance minister Amit Mitra had announced in his budget speech that the state government would distribute 40 lakh cycles among the students of classes IX,X,XI and XII of state run, aided and sponsored schools. It was decided that 25 lakh cycles will be distributed in 2015-16 and the remaining 15 lakh will be distributed in 2016-17. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 800 crore of which Rs 500 crore has been paid to the manufacturers so far.
The project was named Sabuj Sathi by the Chief Minister she was the one who designed the logo. She is monitoring the whole exercise on a regular basis.
The backward classes Welfare and Tribal Development department is looking after the project while West Bengal SC and ST Development and Finance Corporation is the implementing agency.
There are 8235 such schools in the state. The roll has been prepared in such a way that the department now has the names of the beneficiaries along with the names of the schools, the class they are in and names of their fathers with the postal address.
Also, the department has the date when the cycles were delivered to them. Each cycle has a frame number which one may say is equivalent to the chassis number in vehicles and by deciphering this one will be able to tell when the cycle was handed over, under which project it was given and the makers of the cycle.