The state education department plans to get serious about the health of students in government schools as, come December, it will team up with a non-government organisation (NGOs) to hold special camps aimed at diagnosing poor vision and hearing in students.
An official on Monday said the department, with the assistance of Sight Savers, the NGO, would organise camps at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Fazilka, Amritsar, and Faridkot districts, from December 11 to 20.
The decision, director general of school education (DGSE) Kahan Singh Pannu said, was taken after 597 students were diagnosed with poor vision in a recent state-wide survey conducted by the education department.
"Following the camps in December, the children with poor vision will be provided with medical aid and the required instruments for free," Pannu said, adding that the department wanted to ensure that poor vision amd hearing were not a hindrance in the studies of the students.
During the recent survey, government schools in Ludhiana district had most number of students with poor vision - 111 were diagnosed with the condition. It was followed by Gurdaspur district (68), Fazilka district (57) and Faridkot district (51). The districts that fared better were Patiala (45 students), Mansa (25 students) and Sangrur (15 students). No such cases were detected in Bathinda district.
On how the department plans to help students with poor hearing, the DGSE said special audiometry camps would be organised at the block and district levels. "At the camps, students will be provided with cordless hearing aids on subsidised rates," he said.
In a communiqué to principals and heads of government schools, the DGSE said though the department had a list of students with poor vision, it wanted to ensure that no student was left out. "At the end of the day, these conditions have a bearing on studies. And we don't want any student to suffer because of ill health," he said.