April 21, 2021 12:39:31 pm
PUNJAB CHIEF Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday gave in-principle approval for legislation of Teachers Transfer Act in the Vidhan Sabha, announced Rs 500 per month increase in the salaries of midday meal workers (MDM) and also approved distribution of another 2.14 lakh smart phones for Class XII government school students this year.
He was chairing the education department’s virtual review meeting.
The enactment of a legislation will give legal sanctity to the Teachers Transfer Policy, introduced by our government in 2019 to make the entire process transparent, efficient and corruption-free, said CM. He said that since the policy was brought in, not a single complaint of corruption had been received with respect to transfer of school teachers. Under the policy, which has now also been extended to non-teaching staff, of 1.12 lakh teachers, so far 21,600 teachers had availed the benefit.
On the issue salary hike for MDM workers, CM said it was a long pending demand of the workers, who had got their last hike in 2017. The move will benefit 42,000 MDM workers in 19,000 schools.
The CM further said that the process of distribution of 2.14 lakh more smart phones will commence within three months, with budget allocation already made for 2020-21. The proposal will be cleared at the next meeting of the state cabinet, and orders for the phones will be placed immediately thereafter to enable distribution to commence within the time-frame. The proposal for procurement of smart phones for these students had already been sent to the Department of Industries, he added.
Pointing out that 1.75 lakh students studying in class 12 had already been provided smart phones in 2020-21, Amarinder said, adding that in addition, 3502 tablets had already been provided to the students of government schools, while Rs 5.25 crore had been kept aside for e-libraries.
The CM also directed the School Education Department to formulate a scheme, and draft a formal proposal, for introduction of NCC training as a subject in all schools in a phased manner, beginning with the border schools. This, he said, was important to inculcate discipline among students, especially in current times.
He claimed that his government has already fulfilled 15 of 20 promises mentioned in their manifesto related to school education department, two had been partially implemented, with only three pending.
Amarinder said that while every government school in the state, both urban and rural, has been provided drinking water amenities, he said that within the next 2 months each school will also have toilet facilities.
He also ordered immediate steps for setting up computer labs in primary schools, for which Rs 50 crore had already been provided in the budget for 2020-21. He said that 2512 middle schools, 1709 high schools and 1894 senior secondary schools have already been provided with computer labs by the state government.
School Education Secretary Krishan Kumar said that 250 schools would be upgraded in 2020-21, with a draft policy for the same already sent to the finance department for approval. In a detailed presentation, he disclosed that 17,778 teachers were recruited by the previous government from 2012-2017. Currently, out of the 32425 posts, 12,761 recruitments have already been made and 13,768 are under process, while 5,896 new posts would be advertised soon. Apart from this, a separate cadre has been created for six border districts and many contractual teachers had been regularized.
Enrollment in the government schools had registered an increase of 15.07 per cent with 27.20 lakh students enrolled during 2020-21, he said, also noting the increase in pass percentage of Class X & XII students of government schools, who were now faring better than in private schools.
The secretary education pointed out that Punjab was the first state to universalise the pre-primary education with enrollment of 3.29 lakh students. Similarly, English as a medium of instruction has been introduced in 14,957 government primary, middle, high and senior secondary schools covering 3.71 lakh students.
In his presentation, Krishna Kumar further revealed that of 19298 government schools, 12976 schools have already been converted into smart schools. Further, out of total 68263 smart classrooms, 41336 classrooms have already been converted into smart classrooms while 13459 were in the process of conversion and the balance 13468 would be converted shortly. Under the ‘green boards and furniture drive’, all the primary schools have been provided with furniture besides covering 21.8% of the pre-primary sections and the requirement for middle, higher, senior secondary schools would be completed during 2021-22.
He also listed out other works, including amendment to rules for direct and transparent recruitment of school headmasters, principals and block primary education officers, the sports policy for schools, introduction of skill development under vocational education, among others.
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