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Education Secretary ‘raids’ border schools 

Gurdaspur, July 21

Secretary (Education) Krishan Kumar reached the Mari Panwaan Government High School exactly at 8 am, hid himself from the group of teachers and kept standing there for 20 minutes before a tutor spotted him.

Suddenly, there was pandemonium all around as news of his visit spread like wildfire in the adjoining villages. School heads in neighbouring areas were expecting him to ‘raid’ their schools as well but the bureaucrat had other plans. He drove straight to the adjoining border districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran to check for himself the efficacy of the very system he presides over.

Perturbed by the abysmally low standard of education in schools located near the international border (IB), the officer decided to divert his attention to the area. Neither the District Education Officer (DEO) nor any other senior officer was privy to his visits. 

“I deliberately kept my appointment low profile otherwise the very purpose would have been defeated,” said Kumar.

The plight of these schools was highlighted in The Tribune on July 19 after Gurdaspur DC Vipul Ujwal checked the knowledge and general awareness of the students of these schools. The results of the DC’s visit were not positive enough following which the Secretary decided to reach ground zero.

At Mari Panwaan, Kumar asked some girls students to recite short stories in English, Hindi and Punjabi. The teachers were asked what difficulties were they facing and were told to improve the standard of education they were imparting to “young and impressionistic minds.” Teachers manning the libraries were asked to exhort students to take up reading.

Kumar admitted that there was an acute teaching problem in some schools, termed as ‘single teacher schools’ where just one tutor teaches students.

“I am confabulating with Finance Department officials to ensure that the vacancies in the ‘single teacher schools’ are filled as soon as possible,” he maintained.

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