Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Saturday launched the ‘Mission Shat Pratishat’ for 2020-21, aimed at empowering schools to achieve 100 per cent results, virtually distributed 2,625 tablets to primary government school students and inaugurated 1,467 Smart Schools.
At the virtual event, which connected him to teachers, students and their parents from more than 4,000 schools, the CM also announced the creation of 8,393 posts for pre-primary school teachers and said they would be filled up soon by the Education Department.
Citing the challenges in education in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, Amarinder said Mission Shat Pratishat was aimed at strengthening the digital infrastructure in schools through e-Books, EDUSAT lectures, e-Content and online classes, broadcast of lectures through TV, and video lectures prepared by the teachers.
“The mission will help boost the standards in schools in line with the state government’s decision to curb all malpractices in board exams,” he said.
A National Achievement Survey held early in 2017 had shown Punjab could not perform on expected lines, he recalled, adding that the strictness brought in thereafter had led to “exceptional improvement” in the students’ performance. He said the increasing shift of students from private to state-run schools is one of his government’s biggest achievements. The CM noted that government schools had outperformed private schools in board results for two successive years.
Lauding the contribution of smart schools in raising educational standards in Punjab, the CM said of the total 19,107 schools in the state, 6,832 are smart schools, to which another 1,467 were being added. He said 13,859 projectors would be provided to the remaining schools too, in order to make them Smart Schools. A budgetary provision of Rs 100 crore had been made this year for digitisation of schools.
To mark the conclusion of the Punjabi Week, the CM directed Cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa to draw out a detailed plan for the promotion of the Punjabi language and revival of the Patiala Central Library, which was facing an acute funds shortage.
Pointing out that Punjabi became the official language in Patiala in 1940, replacing Farsi, he recalled the district’s long-standing relationship with Punjabi. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had made the first Punjabi typewriter in 1938, he noted.
He also observed that Punjabi had been named an official language in Canada and UK, where a large number of Punjabis were settled, thus giving global recognition to the language. Punjabi should live and grow in the hearts and minds of every Punjab, he said, while stressing the importance of English and other foreign languages to enable students to compete globally.
School education minister Vijay Inder Singla said while 8,393 posts of pre-primary teachers had been advertised, more would be filled up in due course. He said that Punjab is the first state to universalize pre-primary school education, as per the Right to Education Policy. This helped increase enrolment in government schools, he said, adding that the state-run schools had shown record increase in admissions, with 13.48% more admissions registered this year compared with last year.
Online transfer of teachers had been introduced, with merit among the various criteria, in accordance with which 7300 transfers were done last year, the Minister said. Direct recruitment of teachers was also started through PPSC, he said, adding that as many as 14000 temporary teachers had been regularized.
Bajwa spoke about the government’s initiatives to promote Punjabi language and said Punjabi literature was being digitized, in addition to other measures taken to encourage the use of the language.
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