Updated: May 11, 2022 11:14:45 am
At his meeting with of over 2,600 government school principals and district education officers (DEOs) held at a Ludhiana resort, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann rolled out his ideas to revamp Punjab school education inspired by the ‘Delhi model’. All praise for the Capital school story, Mann said that teachers from the state will be sent to sent to countries such as Finland, Switzerland and Singapore for training, ‘just like Delhi government does’. Mann also launched a portal on ePunjab where teachers can login to register their suggestions for improvement in Punjab’s education system.
Mann claimed that there was a ‘waiting list’ of students who were seeking admission in government schools of Delhi.
He also said that “teachers from Punjab will soon be taken on tour to Delhi in batches to pick ideas”.
“Four lakh students have moved from private schools to government ones in Delhi,” he said.
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Sharing his experience of attending a ‘Happiness Class’ in a school in Delhi, Mann said: “I and Kejriwal attended a class together and look at the confidence of those kids, they asked two Chief Ministers (CMs) to get a photograph clicked with them. This is education where confidence building, not percentage, matters. We have to bring our children in Punjab out of this percentage rat race, all can’t come first and those coming first should never get arrogant.”
Mann told those in attendance that the AAP-led Punjab government will work to restore faith of people in the government education system and merely painting walls and buildings with colors does not make a “smart school”.
Addressing the first gathering of principals and DEOs after becoming the CM, Mann said: “I have no doubt on the ability of our principals and teachers but they have never been provided the infrastructure and ambiance which is required to make our education system world-class.. People have lost faith in the government system. We do not want to sit in a government bus or get any tests done from a government hospital. We do not want to study in a government school or college but yes we want a government job…We have to restore that trust of people in the government, it has already been restored in Delhi..”
Mann said that teachers in Punjab should now think beyond benches, water purifiers etc and give bigger ideas.
“These are small things that we will take care of. Please work on ideas such as paperless education, child of the month award, appreciation measures, innovation parents teachers meetings etc,” he said.
“Just like Delhi government, Punjab government will also take batches of 70-100 school principals and teachers abroad to countries such as Switzerland, Finland, Singapore, Oxford for professional training. Why can’t we learn from countries which are running the best education systems? There’s no dearth of funds or budget for education,” said Mann, adding that he too was the son of a teacher.
He added that the Punjab government will also work on adding more appreciation awards for teachers to motivate them. The CM said that every year 10 best performing teachers and principals would be honoured.
Targeting previous government for introducing no-detention policy (now scrapped), Mann said, “The previous governments deliberately took people towards illiteracy so that they continue to be their slaves and their hands remained tied. No child was detained till class 8, weak subjects were not identified and the result was that 80-90% students would then flunk in Class 9. This is how they restricted so many youths till Class 8.”
“We are habitual of copying and pasting MBD guides’ answers, but it won’t work anymore,” he said.
Bhagwant Mann said that NRIs were ready to adopt government schools but their money should be judiciously utilised for providing advanced educational techniques to students, rather just building rooms.
The CM assured teachers that Punjab government would not take any other work from teachers except teaching.
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