Punjab starts English medium in 1953 schools, steps forward for education reforms: Aruna Chaudhary

January 03, 2018 09:10 AM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: "The education scenario in Punjab is well on course of a revolutionary makeover with innumerable novel initiatives undertaken by the Department of School Education with a further commitment of carrying them forward to give boost to the educational sector in the State in keeping with the demands of modern era."

Disclosing this here today while having an interface with the media-persons and elaborating about the achievements and futuristic vision of the department, the Education Minister, Punjab, Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary said that the Punjab Government is fully geared up and duty bound to provide quality education for all perfectly in keeping with the vision spelled out by the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh. Disclosing further, the minister said that changes have been made to 16 rules thus paving the way for reduced litigation and saving precious time, money and resources of both the respondent as well as the defendant.

On the occasion, the Secretary, School Education, Mr. Krishan Kumar made a powerpoint presentation regarding the achievements and future plans of the department. Listing out the achievements of the department, the minister said that the initiative of 'Padho Punjab, Padhao Punjab' campaign was undertaken as per which steps were taken to upgrade the pre-primary, primary and upper primary level education. Under the initiative, the reading material for the school children was dispatched after gauging their learning level and potential. Furthermore, as of now, 1,60,000 children have of 3-6 years of age have been admitted into the pre-primary classes.

Adding more, the minister said that 1953 schools have been identified in the state with a view to provide instruction in English medium. The concept of 'Smart Class Rooms' would be the main focus and would be commenced in the Government Primary Schools for which a separate budgetary provision would be made and the NABARD would provide Rs. 60 crore assistance. A target has been set to make available green board and furniture for the students by March, 2018. Spelling more measures, Mrs. Chaudhary said that a plan is being chalked out to provide internet facility in the schools by June, 2018. Free books would be provided to the students of all categories from 1st-8th standard and till 9th and 10th standard for those students belonging to the SC and BC category. The department also intends to expand this initiative to all students till 12th by next year. Among other initiatives, from the next session a report would be prepared from amongst the government schools based on 50 points and out of these the best primary, middle and senior secondary school would be chosen and would be given prize money.

Divulging more, the minister said that as part of the drive to raise the standard of sports in schools, free sports kits, jerseys, shoes were distributed to the children. As part of the 'Khedo Punjab' plan devised by the department, the sports would be made a very significant part of the school curriculum. A total of 780 schools have been chosen for starting professional courses such as Agriculture, Automobile, Physical Education, Security and Travel Tourism.

Not only this, among other initiatives, the department accepted the demands of the teachers and the other employees concerning Assured Career Progression (ACP) and addressing the issues pertaining to the probation period and subsequent confirmation. The powers regarding pursuing of higher education by the teachers were delegated at the Drawing & Disbursal Officer (DDO). The draft outlining the transfer policy and rationalising policy for keeping the intact the teacher-student ratio in the schools has been sent to the cabinet.

The important aspect of promotion of teachers was also touched upon as per which 551 were promoted as Principals, 800 were promoted from ETT/JBT to Master Cadre, 722 from ETT/JBT to Head Teacher and Center Head Teacher and 50 were promoted as Block Primary Education Officer. Regarding the Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) of the teachers, proformas were prepared according to the different cadres and subjects showing the educational and extra co-curricular activities. The results of 'Padho Punjab , Padhao Punjab' have also been included in the ACR. Also, the in-service training has been effected in case of 42812 primary, 29874 upper primary, and 17958 secondary teachers.

The minister further said that the re-evaluation system is in the offing from the next academic session on the pattern of universities with strict action against the teachers doing wrong evaluation. A total of 400 evaluation centres instead of 168 are in the process of being established. The results of 10th and 12th classes would be declared within 15 days of the end of examinations. The target of printing the books even before the 2018-19 academic session is also likely to be met. The stringent steps are being taken to eradicate the menace of copying. The working of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has also been made more simplified and people friendly with responsibility fixed from subordinate to higher officials.

Elaborating about another significant measure, the minister said that in the near future the PSEB would issue certificates online by linking them with aadhar card. The work regarding verification would also be made online thus causing ease to both the student and the school.

Among others present on the occasion included Secretary, School Education, Mr. Krishan Kumar, Director General School Education Mr. Prashant Kumar Goyal, Secretary Punjab School Education Board Hargunjit Kaur, Special Secretary, School Education Mr. M.P. Arora and DPI (Elementary) Mr. Inderjit Singh.

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