400 govt primary schools set to go English medium in Punjab | punjab | Hindustan Times
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400 govt primary schools set to go English medium in Punjab

Punjab education minister says English to be introduced as medium of instruction from Class 1 in primary schools to bring them on par with private ones that are preferred by parents

punjab Updated: Jun 02, 2017 09:37 IST
HT Correspondent
Union minister of state for human resource development Upendra Kushwaha lighting the ceremonial lamp along with Punjab education minister Aruna Chaudhary during a conference in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Union minister of state for human resource development Upendra Kushwaha lighting the ceremonial lamp along with Punjab education minister Aruna Chaudhary during a conference in Chandigarh on Thursday.(Anil Dayal/HT)

To improve educational standards in government schools, the Punjab government is planning to introduce English medium in 400 of its primary schools across the state.

Announcing this, state education minister Aruna Chaudhary on Thursday said the government was seriously considering introducing English as medium of instruction from Class 1 in primary schools to bring government schools on par with the private ones where the parents prefer to send their wards given their craze for the language. “However, it will not be binding on students. They will have the option of studying in either Punjabi or English medium. Those interested in Punjabi as medium of instruction can continue with it,” she said.

Chaudhary, who was speaking at a two-day workshop of northern states on innovation and best practices here, said the education department had sent a proposal to the finance department for funds for its introduction and was awaiting its response. Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has also recently expressed his view in favour introduction of English from Class 1 in the state-run schools. The state has 13,000 primary schools.

The workshop, being organised by the Union ministry of human resource development in collaboration with the Punjab government to promote and learn novel strategies in school education, was inaugurated by Union minister of state for HRD Upendra Kushwaha. Besides Punjab, officials of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh are taking part in the workshop.

Chaudhary, who spoke during the inaugural session, said the state government would focus on revamp of school infrastructure, quality education and assistance to students from economically weaker sections. “These workshops are a golden opportunity for the states to learn and imbibe the best and novel practices from each other in the sphere of school education, as it is the best method to evolve school education on a national plane,” she said.

Kushwaha, who also addressed the gathering, said the drive to ensure uplifting of school education sector was a continuous journey with refinements at every interval. “There is an urgent need to spread awareness regarding the most unique and out of the box practices being followed in the sphere of school education,” said the minister. He also dwelt on the mechanism to make books available in the schools as per need.

Union school education and literacy secretary Anil Swarup, joint secretary, HRD ministry, Ajay Tirkey, director, RMSA, Nigar Fatima, additional chief secretary, school education, Punjab, G Vajralingam, director general, school education, Pradeep Sabharwal, additional state project director-cum-nodal officer of conference Ginni Duggal were also present.