Posts of watchmen are lying vacant in 1,339 government high and senior secondary schools of Punjab against the 2,069 available. There are 3,435 government high and senior secondary schools in the state.
Ludhiana district tops the charts with maximum number of vacant posts- 156.
There are 335 high and senior secondary schools in Ludhiana district and only 207 watchmen.
After Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur district has 137 posts lying vacant out of the sanctioned 200.
Hoshiarpur is followed by Sangrur district which has 128 posts lying vacant against 159.
There are 1,034 government schools here out of which 207 are high and senior secondary schools. Patiala comes next with 111 posts of watchmen lying vacant out of the total 160. There are 1,349 government schools in the district out of which 189 are government high and senior secondary schools.
The government high and senior secondary schools of Punjab have sanctioned posts of watchmen but the primary and middle schools have no provision for such posts as a result of which, theft of LCD, computers, LPG cylinders is common.
Pradeep Kumar, principal of Kadiana Kalan government senior secondary school said, “The posts are lying vacant in our school for the past two years. We had hired a person from the village who takes care of the school at night to ensure LCDs, computers and LPG cylinders are not stolen. We have three posts of Class IV employees and all are vacant.”
Another school principal not wishing to be named said, “The post of a watchman is lying vacant for the past five years so we hired a person on temporary basis. We were giving him salary from the Parent Teacher Association funds (PTA) but during a recent inspection, an officer from the education department raised objections to the practice. If we do not use the funds, from where will we pay him?”
Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema said, “The posts of watchmen are lying vacant in most of the government schools of Punjab and we are planning to fill them soon. If any villager is interested in providing his services to the school as a watchman, we will hire him.”