Published: 20th June 2017
Udta Punjab: Punjab Govt apes Teach for India, calls NRI grads to volunteer to teach in schools for a year
The Punjab state government plans to launch a series of intiatives to elevate the educational standards of the state, which Amarinder Singh descibed as broken and in bad shape
In a unique initiative, the government proposes to launch a programme — 'Padho Punjab. Padhao Punjab' — whereby young NRI graduates and people from across India and the world will be invited to dedicate upto one year by way of volunteer work to assist in teaching in the schools. As per the recent reports, there are about 45,90,000 Punjabis living abroad and about 16 million NRIs altogether. This was announced in the state Assembly today by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh who said his government would accord the highest priority to school education and, notwithstanding the constraint of resources, seek to increase budgetary support to the education sector.
These are the other important programmes to be launched in Punjab's education sector:
- The Punjab government will provide free textbooks to all students, and introduce pre-primary classes, nursery and LKG, in government schools from the next academic session as part of its sweeping educational reforms. Five new colleges will be set up in the current financial year, he said. Adding that he will aim to provide one college in each sub-division of the state.
- To promote technical education and skill development, the government has initiated a Mukh Mantri Vazifa Yojana for meritorious students studying in government polytechnics or PTU campus colleges, wherein 70-100 per cent rebate is provided on their tuition fee based on the performance of meritorious students. The Department of Technical Education has already signed an MoU to provide free Wi-Fi on all campuses of government engineering colleges, government polytechnic colleges and government ITIs.
- As part of the initiative, textbooks will be posted online, thus enabling students/parents to download the same free of cost, the chief minister said. A comprehensive digital education programme will be launched to improve access to quality school education. Smart classes, computer hardware, free Internet for 13,000 primary schools and digitalisation of school records is already in progress, he informed the House.
- In addition to this, English as the medium of instruction will be offered as an option in government schools. On a pilot basis, English medium will be started in atleast two primary, middle, higher and senior secondary schools in each educational block from July onwards.
- This is also aimed at introducing greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of higher education institutions, said Amarinder, adding that the government will soon finalise a proposal in this regard in consultation with all stakeholders. A Central Institute for Promotion and Development of Punjabi Language is proposed to be set up at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda.
- Skill development and industrial training in the state will be revamped in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, and the department also proposes to set up a skills' university at Chamkaur Sahib (Ropar), which will award certificates, diplomas, graduate degrees, post-graduate degrees and PhDs, the chief minister said.