The word “Bengal” has been derived from the Dravidian tribe “Bang” which settled
in the area around 1000 B.C. West Bengal is considered the land which propelled
Indian Renaissance. It is the land of the legends of the stature of Ram Krishna
Paramhans, Kaviguru Ravindra Nath Tagore, Swami Vivekanand, Raja Ram Mohan Roy,
Mother Theresa, etc. Bengal even today is considered the melting pot of culture,
art, education, religion, cuisine, and innovation. West Bengal has been centre stage
in the country’s independence struggle, mass awakening movements and educational
excellence. As per 2011 census the population of West Bengal was 91.28 million,
of which the male population was 46.81 million and female population was 44.47 million.
The literacy rate of West Bengal was 76.26%, of which the male literacy is 81.69%
and female literacy is 66.57%. The sex ratio of West Bengal was 950 females per
1000 males, which is much above the national average of 940.
School Education in West Bengal
Primary Education in West Bengal starts from standard I to IV, Secondary Education
in West Bengal is from standard - V to X (Junior High or Upper Primary stage is
from standard V to VIII and High School stage is Class IX and X) and Class-XI and
XII constitute the Higher Secondary Education in West Bengal. In the West Bengal
education system, district level education officials play the most crucial role
in the development of primary and secondary education. The inspector of primary
education, the district inspector of secondary education and district officer of
physical education and youth welfare, are responsible for improvement in the quality
of educational, cultural, physical and administrative activities. The Department
of School Education in West Bengal is responsible for supervising formal system
of education from Primary to Higher Secondary Level including Madrassa, Sanskrit
Anglo-Indian Education and other minority education. There are more than 67,926
schools in West Bengal. Secondary schools in this state are under direct authority
of Central Board of Secondary Education, Indian Certificate of Secondary Education
and West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. Medium of instruction are Bengali
and English in the government schools and English in private schools.
Higher Education in West Bengal
The Department of Higher Education oversees education at the college and the university
level in certain fields of study. Whilst it looks after institutions engaged in
teaching or research in humanities, sciences, commerce, engineering and management,
those concerned with medicine, agriculture, fisheries and animal sciences come under
the purview of other Departments. There are 13 universities in all in West Bengal.
There has been a rapid expansion of technical education at the degree level in West
Bengal in recent years. Whereas no engineering college had been set up between the
years 1962-1995, as many as 18 colleges have been set up during the period from
1995-2000. The total number of engineering faculties in state-aided universities
as well as engineering and technological colleges is at present 30. The intake capacity
at the B.E./ B. Tech. level has gone up from 1684 in 1994 to 6324 in 2000. There
are ample research institutions in West Bengal. Employment and industry interface
scope are in abundance due to its being a pre dominant industrial state.
Education in West Bengal – Future
The future of education in West Bengal has changed rapidly and is making tremendous
progress of late. No doubt those aspirants of education have very good opportunities
in West Bengal.