One of the main objectives of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) is to ensure enrolment of all children in the age group of 6+ to 14+ in age appropriate class. For these purpose 880 New Primary and 6043 New Upper Primary Schools have been set up to cover all eligible habitations. Since 2013 a Pre-Primary Section for children of 5+ age has been introduced in all Government, Government aided and Government sponsored Primary Schools under the Department of School Education of West Bengal. The number of children never-enrolled or drop-outs was reduced considerably. However, steps are taken to enrol these children in formal schools.
Average Drop-out rate in both Primary (i.e. class I-IV) and Upper Primary (i.e. Class V to VIII) level were also reduced to ‘zero’ level.
To ensure UEE and to retain all the children in schools the Department of School Education, Government of West Bengal, adopted several effective measures. After Construction of a good number of Additional Class Rooms, the Student Class Room Ratio at Elementary level becomes 28.68.
Recruitment of regular teachers at primary level has resulted to the Pupil Teacher Ratio of 20.33 in Government, Government aided and Government sponsored schools under the Department of School Education.
It has also been ensured that all Government, Government aided and Government sponsored school under the Department of School Education have at least one functional Boys’ and one functional Girls’ toilet as the case may be. KGVB: Under this scheme 92 hostels are operational with enrolment of 8497 (2390 -SC, 2384 -ST, 1090-OBC, 1738-Minority Community, and 895 belong to BPL).
Physical Access as per Neighborhood Norms
WBRTE Rules 2012 has made the provision of access of schooling by providing at least one school within a neighborhood of 1 km for primary level and 2 km for upper primary level of any habitation for rural areas and just half as that of for urban areas.
In order to ensure access in all habitations, a School Mapping exercise through a GIS platform was carried out to assess the number of habitations where schooling facility is required as per the above norms.
Review of Text Books
The new curriculum, syllabus and text books developed by the Expert Committee are based on a set of principles that adhere to the spirit of equity and child centeredness that form the core of the NCF 2005 and the RTE Act 2009. The changes brought about in the new curriculum and text books are based on the following constructive ideals:
Student centric ideals to align with the rights, capacities, interests and desires of the child.
Emphasis on whether the child is learning or not, keeping in mind the local specificities and the needs of the children.
Evaluation on the basis of different activities as well as classroom performance. Assessment to be based on students’ understanding of concepts.
The classroom is a space that encourages participatory learning. Emphasis be on project work and encouraging creativity.
The teaching will move across the borders of individual subjects and teaching and learning will take place in such a way that the child can make connections between all the things he/she learns.
The number of textbooks will be reduced and subjects like life style education, environmental education will not be taught separately through text books but instead, will be woven into the general curriculum so that it penetrates the child’s thought processes more effectively.
The child will come to school and learn, and the evaluation system will keep track of the progress of every child.
Activities are based on the concept of multi-level classrooms where children with different learning abilities share a common space where they interact and learn with and from each other.
Teachers are independent to work on their own and bring about their own innovations.
Teacher functions primarily as mentor. The curriculum trusts the teacher to implement the educational reforms. All that the new system will provide is an outline of the curriculum and the text book, along with other educational aids. The teacher will then conduct the classroom activities keeping in mind the specific requirements of the children. The teacher will prepare the learning modules and set targets for the students. The teacher is expected to set his/her own goals and achieve them.
Special Training for Out of School Children
Special Training, a specially designed training for those Out of School Children who have been admitted in their age appropriate classes to bring them at par with their peers. Special training is imparted through specially designed material, through non-residential mode, by regular teachers, within the school premises for both Primary and Upper Primary level during normal school hours. Teachers in schools where Out of School Children are admitted are trained to impart the special training successfully so that those admitted Out of School Children are being mainstreamed.
Improvement of School Infrastructure
Development and extension of physical infrastructure of the existing schools and providing fund to newly set up schools are the pre-requisites to universal access, enrolment, retention and achievement. Face lifting of the schools and creating child friendly environment of the Schools also help to achieve the goal of UEE respectively. Providing Additional Class Room, drinking water, toilet facility, boundary wall , CWSN Toilet, Incinerator for Girls' toilet and repair grant to school is another important factor of Civil Works.
Distribution of ‘Text Books’ free of Cost :
All text books for all students from Pre Primary to Upper Primary in six mediums (Bengali, English, Hindi, Urdu, Santhali, Nepali).
Text books of First Language including Rapid Reader, Second Language and Mathematics for all students of Class- IX & X.
Text books on First Language and Second Language including Rapid Reader and Physical Education (optional) for all stufdents of Class- XI & XII.
Distribution of ‘School Uniform’ free of Cost :
For all Students of Class I to Class-VIII (Annually Two Sets of Uniform) .
Mid Day Meal :
For all Students of Pre-Primary Class to Class-VIII everyday.
Financial Support under ‘Kanyashree’ :
All unmarried Girl Students in the age group of 13-18 years studying in schools are entitled to receive Rs. 1000.00 per year & One time Grant of Rs. 25000.00 is alloted to unmarried Girls students , in the age the age group of 18 to 19.
Distribution of Cycle under ‘Sabuj Sathi’ :
All Students of Class IX to XII are provided with a cycle free of cost.
Provision of Computers in Schools :
Computers are provided through ‘KYAN’, ‘Computer Aided Learning(CAL)’ and ‘ICT@School’ programmes to Primary, Upper Primary and Secondary/ Higher Secondary Schools.
Distribution of ‘School Bag’ :
All Students from Class V to VIII are provided School Bag free of cost.
Distribution of ‘School Shoes (Pather Sathi)’ :
All Students from Class I to IV are provided School Shoes free of cost.
Distribution of ‘Exercise Book’ :
All Students from Class V to XII are provided Exercise Books free of cost.
Free Support to Children with Special Needs :
Braille & Large Printed Text Books for visually impaired Students.
Aids & Appliances to Children with Special Needs ( as per need).
Transport & Escort Allowances (as per need).
Financial Support under ‘Sikhasree’ :
All Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe students of classes VI to VIII whose family income does not exceed Rs. 2.50 lakh annually , are entitled to receive Rs. 800.00 per month.
Distribution of ‘Test Papers’ free of cost :
For all Madhyamik examinee.
Sports Equipments in Schools :
Sports Equipments are provided to Primary Schools
Swami Vivekananda Merit-cum-Means Scholarship :
All students Securing 75% or more marks in Madhyamik Examination & securing 60% or more in Class-XI examination and family income not exceeding Rs. 2.50 lakh annually are entitled to receive Rs. 1000.00 per month respectively.
Felicitation for Nirmal Vidyalaya Abhiyan :
Selected Schools are felicitated for proper Sanitation, maintenance of Health & Hygiene and cleanliness of school compound.
Inspire Award :
Financial assistance for Students from Class VI to X in preparing scientific model.
Felicitation of Successful Students :
Successful Students (Toppers) in Madhayamik & Higher Secondary or Equivalent examination & Joint Entrance Examination are facilitated each year.
Health Check Up & Distribuion of Anaemia Preventive Tablet and Albendazole Tablet for all Students :
Free Health check up in each school at least twice a year and providing Anaemia preventaive tablet for all students throughout the year. Albendazole tablets are also provided to all Students twice a year for deworming.
Pre- Matric Scholarship for Minority Students :
All Minority (Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Parsee, Sikh) students of classes I to X , obtaining at least 50% marks in the last exam and family income not exceeding Rs. 1.00 lakh annually are entitled to receive Rs. 1000.00 (for the Students in classes I to V ) & Rs. 1240.00 to Rs. 10000.00 (for the Students in classes VI to X) respectively per year.
All Minority (Muslim,Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Parsee, Sikh ) students of classes XI to XII , obtaining at least 50% marks in the last exam and family income not exceeding Rs. 2.00 lakh annually are entitled to receive Rs. 3000.00 to Rs. 15000.00 per year.
Pre- Matric Scholarship for SC/ST Students :
All Scheduled caste & Scheduled Tribe students of class IX & X , whose family income not exceeding Rs. 2.00 lakh annually are entitled to receive Rs. 150.00 per month for 10 months in a year.
Pre- Matric Scholarship for OBC Students :
All OBC students of classes V to X whose family income not exceeding Rs. 44500.00 annually are entitled to receive Rs. 40.00 per month for 10 months in a year.
Child Entitlements (Text Book & School Uniform) :
In conformity with the rights mandated under the RTE Act 2009, Free Text Books and 2 sets of Uniforms are provided to all the students at elementary level along with Braille Books for Blind students & Large Printed books for Low vision students.
Teachers' Education and Teachers' Training
The State Council of Educational Research & Training, Govt. of West Bengal (SCERT, WB) under Department of School Education , Government of West Bengal, guided by promoting innovations through its practices carries out specific tasks for quality improvement in School education in West Bengal. The SCERT (WB) aims at delivering dynamic and participatory interactions between teacher educators and teachers in various stages of school education on issues ranging from planning, research, and action programs to extension and evaluation. Most of the activities that SCERT (WB) performs are innovative in their various facets.
In pursuance of the focus on connecting school based knowledge to life outside the school and making learning of Science and Mathematics a joyful and meaningful activity, to bring focus on innovation and use of technology, Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA)- a convergent framework that aims at nurturing a spirit of inquiry and creativity, love for Science and Mathematics and effective use of technology amongst children and encourage those who show an inclination and talent for these subjects to be encouraged and supported to heights of academic excellence and research has been introduced. Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan will target students in the age group of 6 - 18 years .
As part of this program, secondary level students are encouraged for pursuing science learning in the secondary courses by organizing educational tours to centres of excellence / higher learning etc.
Student Exchange Programme (Twining of Schools)
Partnership between Schools programme, for linking of well-functioning schools in urban or semi-urban areas with rural schools through interaction and exchange of programme that helps children to gain experiences on each other’s cultures, ways of life and school learning experiences.
The objectives of twinning of schools would aim to link schools, from very different environments, and will aim at bridging gaps, facilitating dialogue and encouraging the understanding of customs and cultures through education.
Post Exchange activities -once the exchange program has been accomplished, few activities will be taken up. A block level meeting will be organized with stakeholders (including teachers, students, parents and others) for sharing ideas with each other.
Nirmal Vidyalaya Abhiyan
Nirmal Vidyalaya Abhijan is a campaign which acts as a catalyst in making schools sustained with clean surroundings, child friendly with the systems and an environment which appreciates aesthetics. Main objective of this campaign is to catalyze competition amongst schools of the State and to ultimately felicitate recognition of the best schools in this respect through a transparent, decentralized selection process.
Thus, Nirmal Vidyalaya Abhijan is also an award ceremony organised by School Education Department on behalf of the Government of West Bengal to felicitate the winners of Nirmal Vidyalaya Puraskar, Sishu Mitra Puroskar and Jamini Roy Puraskar for exemplary achievements in creating clean environment and child friendly schools.
This year 1452 schools have been awarded Nirmal Vidyalaya Puraskar, 71 schools have been awarded Sishu Mitra puroskar and Jamini Roy Puroskar has been bestowed on 6 schools.
Kala Utsav is an initiative to promote arts in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students at the Secondary level. It will also play a major role in creating awareness of our rich cultural heritage and its vibrant diversity.
With this objective this year School Education Department celebrated Kala Utsav and around 630 candidates participated in this utsav from all districts to make it a grand success. There were four events- Folk Dance, Folk Drama, Folk Music and Visual Arts and total number of Arardees was 12 and above all, the second prize in National Lavel Kala Utsav, 2017 is “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bhara’’.
The students of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th classes from any Government, Government aided and private schools can participate in this Kala Utsav 2017.
The first level of Kala Utsav Programme is at District Level where all schools can send their students. At the second level i.e. at the State/UT level, the district level participants participate and finally the best entries from State/UTs/KVS/NVS showcase their talent at the National Level.
Kanyashree’s core objectives are simple and focussed: it aims to ensure that girls stay in school and restrict early marriages till at least the age of 18 years. Kanyashree’s approach is also simple: it uses a social safety net mechanism that has shown a high degree of success in transforming the lives of children and adolescents in several countries in the world. It is a process of Conditional Cash Transfer. The scheme has two cash transfer components :
The first is an Annual incentive of Rs. 1000/- to be paid annually to the girls in the age group 13 to 18 years studying in Class VIII equivalent or above for every year that they remained in education, provided they are unmarried at the time.
The second is a One-Time Grant of Rs. 25,000/-, to be paid to a girl of age 18-19 years, provided that she was engaged in an academic pursuit and was unmarried.
The term 'education' encompasses secondary and higher secondary education, as well as the various vocational, technical and sports courses available for this age group. For girls with special needs, orphans and girls in J. J. Homes the income criterion is waived. Girls with special needs, but in a class below class VIII, can also apply for the annual scholarship.
Technical Education, Training and Skill Development Department (TET & SD Department), being nodal department for Technical and Vocational Education & Skill Development, is entrusted to implement the said scheme in West Bengal. The School Education Department of Govt. of West Bengal has extended necessary supports in terms of school infrastructure, mobilization of students through the school authorities and involved of State level School Education Board/Council for integrating vocational education with main stream school education at Secondary and Higher Secondary levels. Qualification Pack (QP) based on national occupational standards /Job Roles as designed by the respective Sector Skill Councils(SSCs) and curricula based on the same QP, developed by a NCERT Institute (PSSCIVE, Bhopal) were adopted in vocationalization of secondary and higher secondary education levels. Skill assessment and certification is being conducted by Sector Skill Councils. The assessors of SSCs are holding practical examination at school premises. Directorate of Vocational Education & Training (DVET) under Technical Education, Training and Skill Development Department is entrusted to implement the said vocational education component of RMSA in association with WBRMSA of School Education Department.
To establish and enabling environment to promote the usage of IT based education
To enable students of the State to become “Digitally Literate”.
To train the teachers in effective delivery of education by using IT tools for teaching with latest methodologies & aids.
Set up modern ICT@ Schools with latest IT infrastructure where students get the best of IT training.
Incorporate a Management Information System (MIS) for monitoring and reviewing the project on regular basis.
To provide an effective learning environment for children by providing interactive multi-media CDs to the students of primary and upper primary classes make learning a joyful experience.
To ensure the availability of quality enrichment of existing curriculum and pedagogy by employing ICT tools for teaching and learning.
Promote critical thinking and analytical skills by developing self-learning.
This shall transform the classroom environment from teacher-centric to student centric learning.
Early Grade Reading and Numeracy (EGRaN) Programme at Primary Level
Reading is essentially a process of meaning making, so there is a need to develop the skill of reading with comprehension & writing and to help the children learn mathematics in a way that develops liking and understanding of the mathematics.
Keeping in mind the above fact, ‘Early Grade Reading and Numeracy’ (EGRaN) Programme has been introduced initially in class I and II and extended for Classes III & IV with the following objectives.
Developing skill of reading with comprehension and writing for:
Children who fail to learn to read are likely to fall behind and have difficulty in learning other subject as well.
Poor readers can not develop proper writing skill and are vulnerable to drop out of the education system.