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Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20: Manish Sisodia says ‘secret’ friendship between Modi and Capt, he hits back

AAP leader Manish Sisodia claimed that quality education and learning have become a "joke" in Punjab government schools.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 13, 2021 12:33:01 am

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Saturday alleged a “solid” friendship between Prime Minister Narenda Modi and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh ahead of the polls in Punjab, after the state was ranked number one in the Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20 by the Centre in terms of school education. Amarinder described the accusation as “atrocious” and a clear case of the AAP crying foul in the face of its imminent wipeout from Punjab in the next year’s 2022 Assembly polls.

Sisodia fired the first salvo. “This report claims that government schools in Punjab have emerged to be the best, while pointing that government schools in Delhi are not up to the mark. This report is just another way to show the blessings Modiji has showered on Captain Amarinder Singh, extending a hand of friendship similar to the previous election. Strangely enough, this report has been released at a time when people have been raising questions regarding the performance and inadequacies of the Punjab government in education,” Sisodia said during an online briefing.

The AAP leader claimed that quality education and learning have become a “joke” in Punjab government schools. “In the last three to four years, almost 800 government schools have shut down in Punjab, and have been given to NGOs or other institutions to function. Many children had to bear the brunt and parents had to transfer their children to private schools.

“It is crystal clear that Captain Amarinder has the blessings of Modiji for the upcoming elections and we can consider this report as a gift to Captain Amarinder,” he added.

“In a few days, Modiji will release another report claiming that Punjab government’s hospitals are the best in the country. This is just a collaborative tactic for the upcoming elections; it is a strategy of the state government to hide behind the garb of false reports and cover up for their negligence,” he said.

In a hard-hitting reply to the allegation, Amarinder said the AAP leadership is so “obsessed” with electoral politics that it saw poll conspiracies even in something as basic as school education.

The fact is that AAP, which “failed” to make a dent in Punjab’s political arena over the past over four years, beginning with its poor performance in the 2017 elections, can see the rout which it is facing in the 2022 Assembly elections, he said in a statement.

“Come to Punjab and I will show you around our schools,” said Amarinder to Sisodia, adding that the revamp of the state’s schools was an exercise undertaken by his government as a top priority and the ranking released by the Union Education Minister recently reflected the success of those efforts.

“If you are really interested in improving the education system of Delhi, may be you should do a ‘jugalbandi’ with me and I will teach you how to manage things better,” the chief minister said in a derisive response to Sisodia’s charge.

From a ranking of 22 on the earlier index when he took over as the chief minister, Punjab’s school education has undergone a massive transformation, said Amarinder. “Your political dialogues cannot undermine this success,” he said, terming Sisodia’s comments as an obvious case of “sour grapes” since the NCR Delhi stood sixth in the list.

Expressing shock at the AAP leader’s “shameful” attempt to give a political colour to the “excellent outcomes” of the hard work and commitment of thousands of schoolteachers, administrators and officials, Amarinder Singh said it is evident that Arvind Kejriwal’s party is used to seeing everything from the telescope of politics.

Pointing to the “sad and sorry spectacle” of people gasping for breath at the peak of the second surge of Covid in Delhi, the CM said the much-touted Kejriwal model of governance is nothing but a hype created by the media, which was benefitting from the massive advertising budgets of the AAP government in the national capital.

From the highly publicised Mohalla clinics to the school education system, the entire model of the Delhi government has been thoroughly “exposed” for nothing more than a hollow claim being perpetuated by AAP’s media and social media machinery, he said. Kejriwal was so busy promoting his image that he seemed to have forgotten to make any investments on the ground, said Amarinder Singh.

Amarinder claimed his government had, in contrast, invested in the development of key sectors like education and health in a consistent manner over the past four years.

As many as 14,000 schools have been converted into smart schools as part of a focused strategy, comprising launch of pre-primary education, best-in-class digital education infrastructure, innovative teaching methods, administrative reforms, transparency in recruitment and transfer of teachers, he said.

Expressing shock at the AAP leader’s shameful attempt to give a political colour to the excellent outcomes of the hard work and commitment of thousands of school teachers, administrators, education officials etc, Captain Amarinder said it was evident that Arvind Kejriwal’s party was used to seeing everything from the telescope of politics.
Little wonder then that Delhi continued to be deprived of even basic amenities like education, health, safe drinking water even after six years of Kejriwal rule, he quipped.

Pointing to the sad and sorry spectacle of people gasping for breath at the peak of the second surge of Covid in Delhi, the Chief Minister said the much-touted Kejriwal model of governance was nothing but a hype created by the media, which was benefitting from the massive advertising budgets of the AAP government in the national capital.

From the highly publicized Mohalla clinics to the school education system, the entire model of the Delhi government had been thoroughly exposed for nothing more than a hollow claim being perpetuated by AAP’s media and social media machinery, he said. Kejriwal was so busy promoting his image that he seemed to have forgotten to make any investments on the ground, said Captain Amarinder.

The Chief Minister said his government had, in contrast, invested in the development of key sectors like education and health in a consistent manner over the past four years.

As many as 14000 schools had been converted into smart schools, as part of a focused strategy, comprising launch of pre-primary education, best-in-class digital education infrastructure, innovative teaching methods, administrative reforms, transparency in recruitment and transfer of teachers, etc. Increase in government school enrolment and extraordinary improvement in results were a clear reflection of the success of these measures, he added.

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