April 13, 2021 1:08:49 am
The Punjab Education Department has unleashed an aggressive campaign in the state’s rural areas to persuade people to pick government schools over private institutions. Leaving nothing to chance, the information blitzkrieg involves door-to-door visits, pamphlet distribution, flex hoardings, rickshaws/vans playing promotional songs and street plays across villages. The department has also set up canopies at local mela sites in different districts and is also using electronic and social media to highlight its achievements.
The campaign also tries to expose the alleged misdeeds of the majority of the private schools such as charging whopping fees and not giving any consideration to the financial problems that the parents are facing during the pandemic.
Thanks to the fierce campaign, revealed sources, government schools have weaned 30,000 students away from private to government schools in the first week of this massive drive.
The campaign involves teachers making phone calls to parents to sensitise them about facilities at government schools. Admission helplines manned by a dedicated Nodal Officer at school level have also been set up, revealed Education secretary Punjab, Krishan Kumar.
In the ‘nukkad nataks’, school teachers compare facilities of government schools and private schools, including pointing to the fact that students at government schools study free-of-cost.
Now on the occasion of Baisakhi Tuesday, the department is going to set up its canopies at three Takht Sahibs including Harmandir Sahib, Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib and Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo where melas are organised on Baisakhi.
At the melas on Tuesday, Department officials including teachers, district education officers will again highlight improved infrastructure as well as quality education facilities in the government schools.
The District Education Officers, school heads, teachers, School Management committees (SMCs) have made elaborate arrangements for the purpose.
At Baisakhi Melas, people will be mobilised to avail the benefits of the quality education facilities in the smart government schools, said Chander Shekhar, English teacher and District Mentor.
Education Secretary Krishan Kumar has himself been making announcements from gurdwaras and visiting “door-to-door” at some villages recently to give fillip to the admission drive.
The department had also started telecasting “Naviyan Pairhan” programme on DD Punjabi as part of its drive.
Moreover, several talented teachers, who have made videos of their promotional songs and skits have been uploading these on YouTube, Facebook pages and the well-knit media team has been sharing all the highlights in WhatsApp groups too.
The DEOs and school heads apprised the Education Secretary of the progress of the drive in their respective districts recently. While appreciating innovative initiatives including ‘School Darshan’ and ‘Mashal March’ programmes started by DEO (SE) Anju Gupta and Block Nodal officer Rajinder Soni in Mukatsar district, Krishan Kumar urged other districts to replicate these programmes to showcase the achievements of the government schools to the people.
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