Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took over the government in Punjab, everyone’s expectations were high, especially those related to school education, as the same Delhi government had led the way in transforming schools there. There has been a mixed reaction to various issues, decisions taken by the government to improve school education.
Controversial issues in schools
The most significant achievement was the results of the NAS in which the state of Punjab was named the best. There was a controversy to her credit as the former government insisted that schools without the AAP model in Delhi had performed exceptionally well, while the AAP government was adamant about transforming schools through new decisions. When the results of the NAS were good, the students in government schools from board classes failed to get good positions on the PSEB merit list.
There was another controversy over taking students on educational tours. Some of the teachers protested when the students were stopped from a tour. Protests marred many districts, eventually it was decided to take the students on educational trips, but with the permission of the respective DEOs.
‘Mission Shat Pratishat’: Recently, the Minister of Education of Punjab launched the Mission Shat Pratishat project to improve the education system for evaluating the continuous progress of the students. The school principals and teachers were asked to bring the desired results. Once again, teachers raised their voices against bimonthly tests, leaving syllabi unaddressed and studies suffering, teachers claimed.
CBSE declares results late
This time, the CBSE had administered the exam in two terms. Since it was a big change for all teachers, students and parents, not many things became clear at first. In order to prepare new software for declaring results of two terms, the CBSE announced the results of board classes quite late, which also delayed the admission process in universities.
School education has experienced highs and lows in the past year. Some government decrees brought relief to the department.
- A good decision by the government was to fill the many vacancies by appointing new principals in government schools, where vacancies were open. In Ludhiana district, many schools got principals.
- The government has appointed two permanent District Education Officers (DEOs) for primary and secondary schools. These posts were vacant for several months and it was a long-standing demand of teaching and non-teaching staff to appoint DEOs.
- Holding state-level science exhibitions in many government schools gave the students the opportunity to refresh their skills and discover their hidden innovative talent.
- However, Punjab had successfully organized and conducted state games for children with special needs (CWSN) under the auspices of Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains, in which more than 1,500 participants from 23 districts of the state had participated and displayed brilliant sporting spirits.
- In another new project, the Education Department has provided a special grant of Rs 10,000 to each secondary school of the state under the ‘anti-drug Bala paintings’ scheme, which aims to raise awareness among school students about the drug and drug threat.
- Beginning in secondary schools, the positions of physical education instructors and art teachers were abolished.
- The Congress government had released a list of more than 250 schools in Punjab to be upgraded, but it was put “on hold” by the AAP government and the schools saw no improvement.
- Scholarships under the National Educational Welfare Service for pupils in the lower classes have been cancelled.
- Students’ books and stationery did not reach schools on time and studies were affected.
- Bimonthly tests in the schools did not give teachers and students enough time to cover the entire syllabus.
- Teachers were asked to perform other tasks, which caused studies in schools to suffer
- The government schools did not score well on the merit list of the Punjab School Education Board for board classes X and XII.