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Education dept to take over the Sishu Siksha Kendras (SSKs) and Madhyamik Siksha Kendras (MSKs)

KOLKATA, 19 JAN: Come next Assembly session and the school education department is likely to place a Bill to take over the Sishu Siksha Kendras (SSKs) and Madhyamik Siksha Kendras (MSKs) in the state. A memo in this regard has recently been sent to the state panchayat and rural development department which presently owns around 16,000 SSKs and more than 2000 MSKs.
According to a source in the school education department, once the panchayat and rural development department gives its nod to the proposed Bill, it will be placed in the next session of Assembly and then sent to the Governor for approval.
It was in 2001 that SSKs (Classes I to IV) and MSKs (Classes V to VIII) were formed under the panchayat and rural development department.
While the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 mandates that elementary education must be provided by formal and recognised schools, the erstwhile Left Front government wanted to upgrade these “informal” schools under a separate board.
The then Opposition raised its voice over the issue as the proposed board would have run parallel to that of the existing West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) that it would have resulted in inconsistency in school education. Later, the proposal was scrapped. Now, the school education department is seeking to acquire the SSK and MSK schools from the panchayat and rural development department.
The students of the SSKs and the MSKs have to come to the mainstream and eventually sit for the Madhyamik examination. An official of the education department said: “The formal schools then have to shoulder the burden of these students. It becomes very difficult for the MSK students to get admitted to a formal school after Class VIII.”
This year it has been found that admission to Class V increased at least by 10 per cent because of the SSK students seeking admission to formal schools. Mr Vikram Sen, secretary, school education department, said: “Following the directives of RTE, there was no admission test this year which contributed effectively to the increase of admission rate. Students of SSKs are choosing formal schools instead of MSKs.”

SNS

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