PADHO PUNJAB PADHAO PUNJAB:
PSEB asked to print books worth Rs 7 cr for Edu Dept Chandigarh – Education Department has requisitioned the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) for printing books Worth Rs 7 crore for the ambitious Padho Punjab, Padhao Punjab project.
(Rahul Bali, Senior Correspondent, Sagar Media, New Delhi)
The recent slogan “Padho Punjab Padhao Punjab” by the Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Amrinder Singh is a positive step. Punjab is a predominantly an agriculture state. In the colonial period, illiterate people from Punjab migrated to the British colonies to work as laborers in railways, mines etc. Those who migrated 60 years back to the British colonies did not upgrade their educational credentials despite abundant facilities in the developed world. Elderly Punjabis settled permanently in England, USA, Canada and in European countries remained illiterate. The current status of education system in the state of Punjab is dismal. In his article, “Socio-Economic Crisis in Punjab” by Ranjit Singh Ghuman” observed that “Education in rural Punjab has almost collapsed. The process started in the 1980s and there has been no resurgence till date”.
The dropout rate of students belonging to marginalized groups in rural government primary schools is more than 85%. According to education department of more than 2667 primary, upper primary schools do not have enough teachers. The shortage of qualified teachers is a big challenge in fulfilling the mission. The transfer of teachers from one place to another place and extra administrative duties has disheartened the teachers. The media reports indicate that the working teachers are utilized by the education department for various political ends by successive governments.
The author conducted an interview with more than 50 government and private primary and higher school teachers in district Jalandhar, Punjab and found that the majority of students want to go to the developed countries such as England, Canada, USA, European countries. Several studies conducted in the past demonstrates that migrated students from Punjab largely end up in doing labor jobs in the western countries. There is need to change mind set of the students of Punjab. In globalized world, only educated and skilled workers are welcome. The government of Punjab must organize workshops in urban and rural areas of Punjab to educate the students and the parents. There is need to sensitize this important issue in the larger interest of Punjab. The time and energy of the working teachers need to be utilized to impart holistic education to the students. Padho Punjab and Padhao Punjab mission can only be fulfilled if drastic changes are made in the education system.