“The Punjab Government under the able leadership of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has accorded priority to the education sector of the state so as to bring it on par with the best in the country. In accordance with that the Education Department has taken game changing measures in the past 1 year since the new government has assumed office.”Disclosing this here today in a statement, the Education Minister, Punjab, Aruna Chaudhary said that the one of the most important initiatives i.e. the Pre-Primary classes have been started w.e.f. 14th November, 2017. Around 1.60 lakh students of age group 3-6 years have been enrolled in pre-primary sections. Besides this, separate cadre of Education Administrators and teachers for Border Districts has been created through the revised service rules which have been approved by Council of Ministers. There will be six posts of DEO's (EE) and six posts of DEO's(SE) in the border districts. Teachers in the border area cadre will seek promotions only within districts. Regarding another significant measure, the minister divulged that the Padho Punjab-Padhao Punjab programme aimed at the enhancement of learning outcomes of students at pre primary, primary and middle levels was started in August, 2017 and to ensure its success training of teachers was carried out. The Baseline and Mid-term evaluations have revealed that Learning levels of Primary children have enhanced by around 40% in the subjects of Maths, Punjabi and English.
Coming to the aspect of recruitments, the minister disclosed that 1645 teachers have been recruited in the Art & Craft, ETT and Master Cadre apart from which the process to recruit additional 3582 Masters cadre teachers would be completed shortly. The minister also said that the services of 1800 teachers have been regularized and Compassionate appointments have been given to 174 people.Adding more, the minister said that to end the stagnation in promotions, 8 teachers from Principal Cadre to Deputy Directors, 551 from Promotions to Principal Cadre, 23 from Masters to Head Master Cadre, 725 from JBT/ETT to Master Cadre and 101 from Centre Head Teachers to BPEOs have been promoted. Besides this, a mobile based Low Cost Biometric Attendance system has been started in District Fatehgarh Sahib & Mohali as Pilot Project. A proposal for biometric attendance system for all the government schools in all the districts as well as education offices has been formulated and submitted to Finance Department for consideration for 2018-19. Among other measures are included the School Grading and Best School Award in which one primary school in every block and one middle, high and senior secondary school in each district will be selected for best school award and for which cash award of 2 lakh for primary, 5 lakh for middle, 7.5 lakh for high and 10 lakh for senior secondary will be given at the end of academic session, promotion of Sports as per which for the first time the department organized state level sports competitions for students at Primary level during the academic year 2017-18. The sports were organized in the month of November, 2017 at Patiala. At secondary level, Districts, State & National Level Sports competitions are held annually. The State of Punjab has won 70 Gold medals, 128 Silver medals and 207 bronze medals (total 405 medals) in the 63rd National School Games held during 2017-18 and have achieved 7th rank. It is worth mentioning that 5 students have participated in International Tournaments during the year 2017-18. Besides, an MOU is being signed with Service Provider(s) to provide free internet along with wifi to all Government schools for 10 years. The facility of free Internet will begin w.e.f. 31.03.2018. Also, Green boards and furniture for Primary schools, Computerization of Primary Schools, Additional Classrooms for Primary, Middle, High and Senior Secondary Schools and Drinking Water RO system for schools under RIDF XXIII are other positive steps undertaken.
Revealing more, the minister said that the grievances of teachers related to Assured Career Programme (ACP), Probation & Confirmation, Ex-India leave, Child care leave and Medical leave etc have been resolved. All pending ACP cases, Probation and confirmation cases for more than past five years have been cleared with powers been delegated to the concerned School Principal/Heads for these matters and the Finance Department has granted exemption to the teachers from mandatorily going for 15 days medical leave, Online School Management System E-punjab school has been developed for comprehensive information related to school staff, students and school infrastructure besides an online grievance redressal system has been developed and linked with department portal. The adhaar card number of 99 percent government school students has been uploaded online and are linked to various scholarships and other incentive. Not only this, but as per the reforms in Punjab School Education Board, the system of re-evaluation of answer sheets has been started by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) for the first time and applications for revaluation will be received only through online (01-04-2018). The corrections in date of birth in the certificates have been allowed irrespective of the year in which certificate was issued.Mrs. Chaudhary further elaborated that the restructuring of PSEB has been completed and as a result, the expenditure of Board will decrease substantially and furthermore the operations of the Board are being computerized. The various services rendered by PSEB will be provided online such as the Issuing of examination certificates , Duplicate certificates, Corrections in Certificates and certificate verification, and Change of name or DOB of students. The obtaining of equivalence certificates by the students and other Boards have been done away with.
The Vocational Education and Skill Development Programme has been started in 780 Government Senior secondary schools and trades such as Agriculture, Automobile, Beauty & Wellness, Healthcare, IT/ITES, Physical Education, Retail, Security and Travel & Tourism are currently being taught.Divulging more, the minister said that free text books have been provided to the Non-SC Children for classes 1-8 and besides this, there is a provision for Free Uniforms for all girls & SC/ST /BPL boys of classes 1-8 under SSA. Free Uniforms have been provided to 887914 eligible children at primary level. Not only this but Mid Day Meal is being provided to all the Primary and Upper Primary students in Government and Government Aided Schools.Touching the aspect of teacher training, the minister said that 42812 Primary Teachers, 29874 Upper Primary Teachers and 17958 Secondary Teachers have been imparted in-service training under SSA and RMSA. Upper primary teachers have largely been trained on subjects Maths, Science, English and Social Studies. 1376 Head Masters/Principals have been trained under School Leadership Development Programme. Apart from this, 40 school teachers were awarded with State Award and 8 school teachers were awarded with National Awards and 15 teachers were awarded with Malti Gyan Peeth Award for their distinguished Performance.Among other path breaking measures are included Drug Awareness and programs for Career Counseling, Menstrual Health, Personal hygiene and sanitation, Water conservation and water harvesting, Debates, quiz and painting competitions on the related themes, Drafting of a sports policy for ensuring the physical fitness of students with centralized focus on the self defense training for girls in Karate.