With an aim to give fillip to infrastructure and facilities in the higher education sector, Punjab higher education and languages minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on Tuesday released grants to three government colleges in Amritsar district.
Rakhra also claimed that 13 government colleges in Punjab would have “finishing schools” with special labs to enhance soft skill development, which was the need of the hour. “Soft skill development will include personal skill development like personality grooming, confidence building, etiquette enhancement, English speaking and more,” he said, while talking to Hindustan Times.
Rakhra, during his visit, also inaugurated a “finishing school’ at the Government College in Ajnala. It was the second such school in the first phase, the first being in Patiala.
Meanwhile, director higher education TK Goyal said these finishing schools would be opened in two phases. “Other finishing schools will be inaugurated by in a week or so. Amritsar will be covered in second phase,” said Goyal, adding that right now the focus was on the soft skill development and thereafter, it would be on the hard skill development where different courses like retail management would be introduced.
“Basically, your studies will not end in college. You will have to go a stage beyond that and resort to finishing schools to become fully employable for any job. Finishing schools will teach students what is not taught in their books,” Goyal said.
Meanwhile, Rakhra said, “We have been able to provide the students in Punjab with adequate qualification, but there is a serious need to enhance their confidence level, which is quite low. There will be a compulsory period after their college classes gets over, where they the focus will be on their personal skill development. I have travelled nationally and internationally and have seen that various education sectors have focused on enhancing internal abilities of a child and youth in Punjab will also be getting this.”
Talking about his visit, Rakhra said considering the infrastructure, smart rooms, computer lab and other pending requirements of colleges, he has given Rs 39-lakh grant to SR Government College for Women, Amritsar and Rs 46.5-lakh for Government Colleges in Ajnala and Tarn Taran.
Rakhra informed that the each college had put up a demand of Rs 2 crore. “As early installment of Rs 30 lakh had already been made and taking into account the second installment today, now around `1 crore is left to be given to each college,” he said.
Making another announcement, Rakhra said, “The Regulatory Commission is being formed by the state to supervise the functioning of private educational institutes, besides keeping a strict check on fee structures to safeguard the interests of students. The formation of commission is under progress and the Bill in this regard will be tabled in the next Assembly session. “
Rakhra also said the government would be promoting 24 associated professors as principals along with appointments as part of its mission to achieve academic excellence. He said the increasing strength of meritorious students in government colleges reflected that these institutes were touching new heights in the field of education.
Rakhra informed that the grant proposal of Rs 150 crore under consideration of the University Grants Commission would further give fillip to education sector in the state.