Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contemplating to introduce some alternative project for the city school students, similar to her pet scheme “Sabuj Sathi” that has earned international recognition.
“Cycles are not allowed in most of the roads in Kolkata. So, I am thinking of some alternative that can be given to Kolkata’s students. I have given raincoats for the students in Darjeeling as cycles are hardly used in the Hills,” Banerjee said while addressing a programme to mark the centenary celebrations of Beltala Girls’ High School on Friday.
More than 1 crore cycles have already been distributed since the inception of the “Sabuj Sathi” project. Environment-friendly bicycles are given to school-going students from Classes IX to XII under the project that was announced during the 2015-16 state Budget. In the month of April, the “Sabuj Sathi” project won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards under the United Nations.
Banerjee called for a separate class in the state schools for inculcating good moral values. “Smart classrooms, computers and similar technological advancement should be embraced. But the schools should have a class where the teachers will teach good moral values like humanism and honesty to the students. This is my vision and mission. When you cultivate a land, crops are produced. Similarly, when good moral values are preached, it gets dinned into a student’s head. It helps him to think in a positive and constructive manner and frees his mind from negative or destructive instincts,” Banerjee maintained.
She assured of all possible assistance to the school authorities if they express eagerness to start English medium for a section of the students. “If you want to start English-medium facilities, we will provide help by all means. However, we should not neglect the Bengali language. The Bengali medium too will run side-by-side. Bengali is the fifth most spoken language in the world and the second most spoken language in Asia,” she added.
Banerjee also announced a grant of Rs 1.25 crore for Beltala Girls’ High School for developing its infrastructure in various areas including laboratory, hostel, open-air theatre, a proposed museum highlighting its famous alumni etc. “In Kolkata, there is hardly any space for expansion. If you are willing I am ready to offer you land at Rajarhat. I have provided land to a few other educational institutions there,” Banerjee said.
She urged Mayor-in-Council (Parks and Gardens) Debasish Kumar who was present at the event to examine the scope of any minor expansion in the existing campus of the school.