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GTA demand kurseong Dow Hill Girls' School, Victoria Boys' School to the hill body

Dow Hill Girls’ School in Kurseong
Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee today told the Assembly that the government was ready for a discussion on the GTA's demand to transfer Dow Hill Girls' School Kurseong and Victoria Boys' School, the only state-run ICSE schools in Bengal, to the hill body.

The matter was raised in the House by Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma who said education as a whole was a subject transferred to the GTA and wanted to know why the state government still controlled the two schools in Kurseong.

Chatterjee replied that the "government will stand by its policy". "I am ready to sit with the MLA and hold a discussion on the matter, along with officials of the education department," said the minister.

Officials in the education department said what the minister meant was that the government would abide by the provisions of the GTA Act.

"It was an off-the-cuff remark basically indicating that the minister would clear the matter after discussions with officials and then take a call on it," said an official.

However, speaking to The Telegraph over phone today, Sharma of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha said: "I had raised the issue of non-transfer of Dow Hill and Victoria Boys to the GTA by calling an attention motion in the Assembly on July 7, 2014. T.K. Adhikary, joint secretary of the education department, then wrote to me on October, 31, 2014 stating that the state had decided not to hand over these two schools to the GTA. The government, however, had not cited any reason for its decision."

He added: "I once again raised the issue during zero hour today and Partha Chatterjee merely replied that the government had decided not to transfer the department. He, too, did not cite any reason. The minister, however, said the government was willing to talk to the GTA on this issue."

Even though Sharma today claimed the state education department had decided to retain the two schools with itself, the GTA nor the Morcha had made this information public earlier.(TT)

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