May 1, 2021 7:43:58 am
Amidst all the depressing news flying around us due to the Covid pandemic, there is some good news that is sure to cheer us up. Government schools in Punjab, which were once known to be places where only the children of the poor — mostly from the Dalit and backwards classes – used to study are not the same anymore.
The scene now is such that not only people from the middle class but also government teachers, who were known for and also rebuked for motivating others to send their wards in government schools while sending their own children to the private ones, have started admitting/shifting their wards in their own schools in large numbers. Earlier 85 to 90% children were from Dalit and backward classes.
According to the details collected from the Education Department, 1,591 school teachers and other staff of government schools have got their their wards admitted in government schools in the past couple of years and majority of them got admitted their wards this year itself.
Kulwant Rai and his wife Paramjit Kaur, both teachers in government primary schools Rurka Kalan and Mathhdda Khurad, respectively in Jalandhar district have got their daughter Navdeep Kaur admitted in a government school this year in UKG.
Two other teachers of the same Rurka Kalan School have also got their daughters admitted in government school.
Jasleen Mehmi, a Class I student, and Angel Jassi, a Class 5 student, both daughters of teacher Kulbir Ram are also studying in government schools.
Harvinder Singh, another teacher of a primary school at Karamgarh in Malout (district Mukatsar) and District Coordinator of Smart School project, has his daughter Agamjot kaur admitted in Class 5 at government primary school Govind Nagar Sarawan (Malout) English Medium.
Similarly, Kulwinder Kaur’s son, head teacher at government primary school Mukatsar, is also studying in the government school Mukatsar.
The list of such teachers is long and exhaustive and it is getting longer with each passing year.
The details provided by the education department revealed that Fazilka district topped the list where 215 government school teachers/staff have got admitted their children or their relatives’ children in government schools followed by Ludhiana, Patiala and Bathinda with 208, 152, 151 respectively.
In districts Fatehgarh Sahib, Barnala, Ferozepur, Sangrur, and Jalandhar 93, 83, 74, 64 and 63 teachers respectively got their children admitted in government schools.
The remaining 12 districts witnessed 25 to 55 teachers who got their wards admitted and Faridkot is the only district where only 5 teachers have their children admitted in government schools.
“When we go door-to-door during enrollment drive and ask people to send their children to government schools, which are turning into smart schools one by one, its is our duty to become role models by getting our children admitted first,” said teacher Harwinder Singh, adding, “We have the best and highly qualified staff in government schools. Then why can’t our schools be the best in studies against private schools where staff is not better qualified than us.”
Buta Ram of Rurka Kalan School said his daughter, Angel, is a national awardee in scouts and she studies in a government school. “What proof one needs about changing outlook of the government schools. I feel proud that I send my daughter to a government school,” he said.
“When we can do better in our lives after studying in government schools why can’t our children? We should have faith in our teachers and schools and should invest some time on our children at home to help them in their studies,” said Kulwinder Kaur, head teacher, adding, “Our entire family is in education line and everyone’s children are studying in government schools only.”
Even the Punjab Education Secretary Krishan Kumar, who is the brain behind the entire enrollment drive and who is credited for converting government schools into smart schools laced with smart classes, computers, educational parks and good infrastructure along with providing English medium in several schools, himself goes door-to-door to showcase the facilities available. He wants to make government schools such a place for education that parents should not think even once before admitting their children in such schools.
The education department has now prepared some posters of such teachers with their wards to appreciate their act and boost faith in their own schools.
Meanwhile, till April 23 this year, around 98,379 students from private schools had shifted to government schools which included 61,092 students in primary classes and 37,287 from Classes 6 to 12. The admission drive in government schools is still going on.
Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Patiala districts are the top three districts where 11433, 8433 and 8142 students got shifted from private to government schools. Remaining all 19 districts too are also fairing well and the number of students shifting to government schools is also in the 1000s.
Even a couple of NRI students have started taking admissions in government schools. One such student took admission in government school Hazara in Jalandhar recently.
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