Cabinet Minister for School Education Om Parkash Soni while releasing his vision for 2018 ‘Realitiesand the Reforms’said that he has been contemplating for a strategy for the betterment of education system which actsas a spinal cord for the state and the nation. Sh. Soni said that newly inducted ministersare accorded a guard of honor by the police personnel after they arrive to their home towns and same went with him, he was honored at circuit house.Sh. Soni said that an idea stuck him during the guard of honor that he is receiving this honor not just because of his high command but because of the citizens too, so he has to be the guard of the honor of the citizens. Sh. Soni said that usually it takes a few weeks for a new minister to be fully informed about the ministry and the department but a few things he and all others know before being briefed by the worthy IAS officials.Sh. Soni said that the the biggest challenge in the entire Punjab is the development of elementary, high and secondary education infrastructure especially in the border and rural areas. Filling of the vacant posts and balancing of the staff falls next, providing nutrition, books and instruction to students and filing the teachers with the spirit to educate would begin along with the first stage. Brining modernization in education and instruction system would fall after the state has upgraded its infrastructure to the tune of Model Schools of Chandigarh.
Om Parkash Soni informed that state is recovering fast from the financial crisis, still it would take some time to be self-reliant, till then it would be a top priority for him to put his staff on top gear in finding the schemes and policies through which the state education system could get maximum funding from union government.Sh. Sonifuther informed that the Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in March 2018 had announced spending Rs 6,600 crore in next three years in the form of loan interest subsidy for the students in need of financial assistance for completing studies. Sh. Soni said that more than 10 lakh students who don’t have means, whose income is below Rs 4.5 lakh per year will be eligible for the education loan and interest subsidy under this scheme. The scheme will facilitate eligible students to get loans without any collateral or guarantee whereas the interest will be paid by the government for the duration of the course plus one year after its completion. He said that how our students make most of such schemes would be his duty to perform.Similarly, SarvaShikshaAbhiyaan started in 1998 is operating with little changes made here and there,but now government at union level has decided to extend it to Class 10 from Class 1 and in coming five years the government will replace blackboards with smart board for classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 in all union government run schools. Therefore, it is the ripe time for the state to jump into action mode and put all its resources to bring more from union government, CSR schemes, NGOs etc. and uplift its education system to the top education providing state in India.Sh. Soni said that this vision would be the light house towards which his department has to move to and there wouldn’t be any compromises. He said it is well known that a lot of unsatisfied people related to his department are waiting for the government to find a way for them, and this is also on his personal priority list to resolve these pending issues.