Australia study visa denial to Punjab board students bares harsh reality

  • Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2016 19:26 IST
Development could affect the enrolment in schools affiliated to the board in the next session. (HT file photo for representational purpose only)

The reports about students passing Class 12 from the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) not being issued visas for studying in Australia has come as an unpleasant surprise to the education department.

On Sunday, education minister Daljit Singh Cheema announced to sending a communication to ministries of external affairs and human resource development, with a request to take up the matter with the Australian High Commission.

This development has put the district education authorities on the backfoot, who think it was a big jot to the credibility of the state education board.

Amritsar district education officer (secondary) Satinder Bir Singh said the development would affect the enrolment in schools affiliated to the board in the next session. “Families who want to send their wards to Australia on study visas will think twice before enrolling them in a schools affiliated to the PSEB. Other countries can follow what Australia has done. The issue needs to be taken up seriously with the Australian High commission,” he said.

He, however, termed the development as an eye-opener, saying, “The PSEB needs to take strict measures to check copying in examinations if it wanted to resurrect its image. Also, the trend of CBSE and ICSE board students who opt for state board to improve score goes against the board’s reputation.”

He said it was a question mark on the whole educational set up and raised a finger at the teachers. “Teachers need to impart quality education. PSEB needs to ensure that best of the lot are appointed as teachers,” he said.

District science supervisor Sudeep Kaur said, “Because of this report we cannot assume that Punjab board students are inferior. There are instances of copying but they are far and few. But, it is always good to take steps to better the system as there is always room for improvement.”

Principal of the government school on the Mall Road, Mandeep Kaur, said, “This development should alert us. Board, administration and teachers need to take this seriously. The rule of not detaining (under RTE) any student till Class 8 should be taken back. If it has been claimed that PSEB student with 80% is not even able to take 5 bands, then we definitely need to check the quality of education we are imparting.”

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