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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

School education officer’s FB photos draw jeers, not cheers

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  SAS Nagar, August 28, 2014
First Published: 09:14 IST(28/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:02 IST(29/8/2014)

Punjab director general of school education (DGSE) GK Singh Dhaliwal’s photographs where he is consuming liquor with his friends posted on Facebook have raised a controversy in the education department circles.

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Dhaliwal, in his official capacity, has been opposing the use of drugs and alcohol. Three days ago, he had issued a circular to all schools in the state stressing the need for awareness and holding seminars for curbing the drug menace.

A visit to the Facebook account of the officer reveals that he does not mind a drink or two and has no qualms about posting photographs of his drinking binges, raising questions about the propriety of the move at a time when he should be setting an example for others.

On the other hand, Dhaliwal says, “The Facebook account is my personal space and not in public domain. I can do what I want in my personal life as it has no connection with my department. Moreover, the photographs pasted on Facebook are six months old when I was not the DGSE.”

But Punjab Private Schools Organisation secretary general Tejpal Singh slammed the DGSE saying, “The officer is setting a wrong example for young and impressionable minds. Nobody is stopping him from drinking, but a person holding a senior position in a government department should not post such photographs on the social media.”

He said that in such a situation, no one would adhere to the circulars that he issued every month to the schools, asking them to bring awareness among students on the drugs issue.

Three days ago, the DGSE had issued a circular to all schools asking them to celebrate the last week of September as a drug-free week. He had also asked the school authorities to hold seminars in the morning assemblies regularly to bring awareness among students on curbing the drug menace.

When contacted, education minister Daljit Singh Cheema said, “Government officers should be more careful about their conduct in both public and personal domains. They should set a good example for the students and not get into controversy.”

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