Come December and students of West Bengal would be in for some good treat. Calcutta Debating Circle, the esteemed debating society, is going to organise a series of international education conventions in the city.
The world comes to town
The universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale - four of the world’s best universities (the former two located in England and the latter two in USA), are going to send a group of their students and professors for interactions with their counterparts from universities and colleges of West Bengal.
This would be the first time that such an interactive session is going to take place. The government of West Bengal is taking a special interest in making sure that things happen smoothly. Education minister Bratya Basu has held discussions with the Society in this regard. Initially it was planned to be an interaction with students studying in Kolkata. But on the minister’s suggestion, which was latched on to with glee by the Society, the sessions have been opened up to students from far-flung areas of the state too.
The education fest is especially the brainchild of Dr. Kunal Sarkar, well-known cardiac surgeon and one of the founding members of Calcutta Debating Circle.
Not a Kolkata-centric fest
From December 18 to 22, these students and professors would give a complete picture of what it is like to study in these elite universities. How advanced and different are the syllabuses of these universities over those of Bengal’s best; how long do students study to get scholarships in these institutions; whether, like here, students there take private tuitions from their professors; these and numerous other nitty-gritty would be discussed in the various fora.
On December 18, students of Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Nandigram and Jhargram would be taking part in the conventions. As part of the programmes, an international education fair would be organised in St. Xavier’s College. Students of Calcutta University and Jadavpur University would be part of important initiatives too.
Another series of interesting programmes that would be organized are debates on December 20 at Calcutta University and on December 22 at Calcutta Club. Students of England and America would debate on the merits and demerits of each others' education systems.
Kolkata, though, is not new to international student debates, though. Last December, students of Oxford and Cambridge took part in a lively debate, bringing their traditional rivalry to the fore. That was also organised by Calcutta Debating Society.
This is a good initiative. Students from smaller places would also get to interact with students of these elite universities, which would otherwise have been impossible.
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