The two days Northern Region Workshop on innovations and best practices in school education today got underway here with a view to promote and learn novel strategies in school education aimed at creating a robust school education infrastructure. It was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mr. Upendra Kushwaha in the presence of the Education Minister, Punjab, Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary. The workshop is being organized by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development in collaboration with the Department of School Education, Government of Punjab. The states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Chandigarh (as UT) are taking part in the workshop.Welcoming the dignitaries in her address during the inaugural session, the Education Minister, Punjab, Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary said that the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh is according top priority to the educational sector in the state as he has a vision of making Punjab numero uno (No. 1) state in terms of education with specialized focus on school education as part of the strategy to strengthen the system from the very roots.
Mrs. Chaudhary further said that the revamp of school infrastructure, stress on quality education and assisting the students from economically weaker sections are the core areas which would be under the prime focus of the Punjab Government. Listing the other measures adopted by the State Government, the minister said that an online portal e-Punjab has been put in place which has 30000 Government, Private and Aided schools registered. She also elaborated that 17 Adarsh schools in the state are imparting free education with 10 meritorious schools catering to the academically brilliant students hailing from economically weaker sections of the society. The minister also disclosed that 26 schools in Punjab are being run on PPP mode with emphasis on quality education.Coming to the futuristic plans, the minister said that apart from introducing the foreign language option, the starting of English as medium of instruction from the 1st standard itself in the 400 Government schools across the state is also being seriously mulled over by the state government and it would not be binding on the students as those interested in Punjabi as medium of instruction can continue with it. Explaining the rationale behind the move, the minister said that this initiative intends to bring government schools at par with the private ones where the parents prefer to send their wards given their craze for English.
Placing great significance to the holding of such workshops, Mrs. Chaudhary said that these workshops are a golden opportunity for the states to learn and imbibe the best and novel practices from each other in the sphere of school education as it is the best method to evolve school education on a national plane.While addressing the workshop, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Mr. Upendra Kushwaha said that the trive to ensure uplifting of school education sector is a continuous journey with refinements at every interval. He said that the main aim of the Union Government is to ensure quality education for every child. Elaborating more, he said that there is an urgent need to spread awareness regarding the most unique and out of the box practices being followed in the sphere of school education. He also disclosed that NCERT is following a ‘Learning Outcome’ policy in which the aptitude and progress of the student in a particular subject is analysed besides the assessment of teachers and students. He also dwelled at the mechanism to make books available in the schools as per need.Among others who were also present on the occasion included Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mr. Anil Swarup, Joint Secretary Ministry of Human Resource Development Mr. Ajay Tirkey, Director (RMSA) Mrs. Nigar Fatima, Additional Chief Secretary, School Education Punjab Dr. G Vajralingam, Director General School Education Punjab Mr. Pradeep Sabharwal, DPI (SE) Mr. Sukhdev Singh Kahlon and Additional State Project Director cum Nodal Officer of Conference Dr. Ginni Duggal.