The Chief Minister was speaking at the 20th Annual General Conference of All Bengal Principals’ Council at Rastraguru Surendranath College in Barrackpore today. He said at least six per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be spent on education.
He added that the state government was already spending the same percentage of the State Domestic Product (SDP)on education.
The CM said many meritorious students in the state were struggling due to financial constraints and it was the government’s responsibility to help these children.
“We could never imagine teachers giving private tuitions. Everything cannot be curtailed or banned by the state,” added Bhattacharjee.
Addressing a query on privatisation of education, the CM advised that the quality of education should not be sacrificed by the mushrooming private institutions. “But the widespread notion that education should be left only to the state is also not fully correct,” he added.
The CM, speaking on issue of Presidency College’s autonomy, said he was criticised for bringing the college out of Calcutta University’s control and also for not giving full autonomy to the college.
“Some colleges and universities are first identified as Centres of Excellence and then developed,” said Bhattacharjee.
Referring to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, the CM said progress can be achieved by land reforms and literacy. “In spite of achieving considerable success in land reforms, the state has ascertained only 76 per cent literacy till date,” he said.
Arbindo Kr Das, Vice-Chancellor of Kalyani University, said the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in universities across the country is about 10 per cent while the University Grants Commission had set up a target of 15 per cent GER by 2012.
“However, as per international standards, countries must have a 20 per cent GER. In USA, the figure is 60 per cent and 40 per cent in other European countries,” he said.