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Value of educated youth in WB: University teacher to get below minimum wage

By Harasankar Adhikari 

What goes on in West Bengal? How is the situation of the people of West Bengal? Is it in crisis, or is it a symbol of progress? May it be compared anyway with Gujarat? Bihar was once an example of the worst of the country's overall problems. May this state be fingered like Bihar? The former governor of the state remarked, ‘Where there is no rule of law, it is rule by law'. This state was once a highly rich example of education, economy, industrial growth, and culture. A common proverb was ‘What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.' For about four decades, its past glory has been eroding. This has been going on since the end of the left's two-decade rule. This state is politically very sensitive as per its past record. After the establishment of leftist rule, the left demanded that the people of this state are all aware of democratic politics and that their participation in politics is historical. It used tactics to get people involved in politics to strengthen its various party wings or organisations for power politics.
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam tried to campaign against corruption among schoolchildren when he met them on different occasions. He realised that only corruption is the fundamental hindrance to national progress. Here in West Bengal, corruption has started in education, where recruitment is almost 100% illegal and jobs at school were sold by the lawmakers, who took an oath to protect people's interests. The corruption has been marketed consciously to lure people and their democratic rights desperately.
Now the dole, in its various forms, controls the state economy. The government run by TMC treats people like beggars, and the dole makes a division among people according to party supporters. The majority of job markets are in the service sector and are concentrated in cities or towns. In rural areas, no such job market is available. Agriculture and agro-based jobs in rural areas have dried up. So, the young to older section (males) is migrating to urban areas, and a large number migrates in from outside the state. But "doing party" has become a strong job market throughout the state for the young population, regardless of their education background. Here Bengal Business Summit is an annual celebration of the political party in the rule. Every year, it claims thousands of crores of investment proposals are signed on paper and represent the biggest hope for new industries. But it is completely false publicity. The common population is not concerned about the fact.
The educated youth of West Bengal have been unemployed for a long time due to a lack of job opportunities. The jobs in the education sector are only a dependent venue, which is again submerged in corruption. The left rule introduced para-teachers in schools and contractual teachers’ jobs in colleges. It was not only a discrepancy; it was a conscious effort to build party cadres. So, it recruited mostly party cadres in schools and colleges.
Under TMC rule, the government has established more than a dozen universities in different parts of the state, either in old buildings or sometimes in new buildings without proper infrastructure. The teachers’ strength is also inadequate. So, the quality of the teachings or classes is very minimal. Recently, one such university, known as Bankura University, advertised for the recruitment of part-time teachers in the department of physics, where the eligibility of the teachers would be post-graduate in the concerned subject with NET or Ph.D. qualifications. But they would get a remuneration of Rs. 300 per class, and one would be allotted only for classes in a week. Unfortunately, this remuneration is lower than the minimum wage. Is it a value of educated youth? What would be their motivation, and what would be the motivation for others, especially their students, to whom they would teach?
The government may claim that it is doing a lot for education and that it is accelerating higher education in the state. It may also be claimed that this remuneration is enough for an apprentice to run an oil fried (Telebhaja) shop. Now, the quality of teaching in West Bengal’s universities is questioned. A section of the students from well-off families are going to other states for their higher education. Will this government think this matter? It should assure quality education more than quantity of educational institutions?



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