Director General of School Education (DGSE) Kumar Rahul inspected 70 schools in the district, following instructions from Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday. Bathinda is the home district of education minister Sikander Singh Maluka.
On Thursday, residents of villages in Talwandi Sabo had complained to the CM on the alleged regular absence of teachers in village schools during a sangat darshan. There are 663 schools in the district.
Satpal Sharma, state level in-charge of all the district level inspections teams, said that during the raids four teachers were found absent and 32 were found to be coming late to school, even as the schools open at a late hour of 10 am in the winters. He refused to say anything on more alleged irregularities found, if any.
He claimed that he was not authorised to share details of the raid. "District education officer Harkanwaljit Kaur has all the details and she will inform you later. I am not authorised to speak on it," said Sharma.
Though teams reportedly avoided visiting the native village of education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, a press note by the government said that serious irregularities were found in administration of government schools at Dhadde and Bandi villages.
Sources said that local authorities did their best to forewarn teachers of the DGSE's raids with inspecting teams from the nine neighbouring districts on Friday morning. DGSE Rahul also visited a Talwandi Sabo School that was specifically brought to the notice of the CM during the sangat darshan.
"Please ensure that discipline is maintained at your schools. Our district is a VIP district. We must ensure that we do our duties. A complaint at the sangat darshan led to the raids on Friday," district education officer Harkanwaljit Kaur reportedly told the heads of school in a meeting held in the evening.
"The outcome of the DGSE visit to schools is better than what we had imagined," said district science supervisor, Jarnail Singh, who heads the district inspection committee.
Sources said that one member of the district inspection team always moves with a cabinet ranked minister and it affects the inspection team's performance. So, on Friday the absence of five teachers that had been missing from duty for long was also brought on record.
However, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka has claimed that his government had raised the standard of education in the state. He was in the city to attend a religious function organised by the SAD.
Total number of schools 663
No of schools raided 70
Teachers found absent 4
Teachers coming late 32
Showcause notice has been issued to absentees; action against late comers as per norms