West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu has said that the department has not taken any decision on recruiting civic volunteers in schools in Bankura amid controversy over the reported move by the district police to induct them as primary school teachers.
The government has sought a report from Bankura district administration and police about what prompted them to take the move, Basu told reporters on Thursday.
”No such decision has been taken. We don’t sanction such a move. We have asked for a report from Bankura police and district administration about what prompted them to take it.
”If they took the initiative at the local level, the consent from the education department is important. The academic council of West Bengal Primary Education department should also be taken in consideration before any such decision,” Basu added.
The news came amid central agencies investigation against some TMC leaders in connection with the irregularites in the recruitment in teaching and non-teaching jobs in state-run and aided schools and arrests of several heavyweight leaders in connection with it.
The Bankura superintendent of police on March 15 launched the ‘Ankur’ project in which 124 civic volunteers will give special classes to students of 46 primary schools in different police station areas of the district.
Civic volunteers are recruited by police to assist in operations like traffic control, monitoring rallies of political parties including action.
The reported move has triggered widespread outrage and condemnation in the state. Eminent educationists have decried such an initiative.
”The move is ill conceived. A civic volunteer cannot have the skill of teaching. It will bring disaster in the basic education system of Bengal. Hope the Mamata Banerjee-led ministry will refrain from such harakiri in the interest of students,” former vice-chancellor Pabitra Sarkar said.
Harakiri is ceremonial suicide by ripping open the abdomen with a dagger or knife.
In a scathing comment, indologist and writer Nrisingha Prakash Bhaduri said, ”I may now apply to the police to give me appointment as a police officer.”