The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today strongly condemned the Congress Government’s decision to introduce English as a medium of instruction in 2,750 state run schools, calling it ‘an anti-Punjab and anti-Punjabi step’ which would undermine the prospects of Punjabi language in the very state where it enjoyed the status of official language.In a release, the SAD spokesman and senior vice President Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema said we all know the mother tongue plays a great role in human development. However by depriving our younger minds from enjoying the privilege of learning in Punjabi language, the Congress government is doing the opposite. “I wonder about the wisdom of Congress government which assumes that the changing of just the medium of instruction would result in improving the quality of education in the state,” he added.Criticizing the unnecessary haste being shown by the state government for starting English medium classes in 400 schools in first phase, the SAD leader said that it had not hired a single English teacher for this purpose. How it would provide quality education in absence of the competent faculty? “Apart from it, there were not enough Punjabi teachers available in those 1953 schools where the government intends to start English medium classes. This exercise will definitely have a cascading effect on the students studying in Punjabi medium as well, he added.”
Completely rejecting the education minister’s contention that implementation of English medium in the state-run schools was aimed at bridging their gap with private schools, the SAD leader said even the Punjabi scholars and writers have completely refused to buy this anti-Punjabi language theory. He said it was definitely not the medium of instruction which was lagging the government schools behind in the race with their private competitors. “From the basic infrastructure to competent faculty, cohesive learning environment to student friendly education policies, all play a decisive role in successfully promoting the state on the education map, he added.”Stating that the Congress government had never shown any commitment towards safeguarding the interests of Punjab, be it the inclusion of Punjabi speaking areas into Punjab during the reorganization of states or handing over Chandigarh as the capital to Punjab, Dr. Cheema said that history speaks in volumes about the conspiracies hatched by the successive congress governments to work against the interests of Punjab and Punjabi language. “Its latest attempt of introducing English as medium of instruction in schools aims at demolishing the rich heritage of Punjab by pushing the Punjabis away from their culture”, he added.