Taking note of high number of students skipping Class 5 and 8 exams conducted by the State Council of Educational Research and Training this year, the Punjab education minister has summoned 390 government schools that recorded the highest absenteeism.
Principals of these schools along with district education officers (DEOs) and block primary education officers (BPEOs) are to appear before the minister, Daljit Singh Cheema, in SAS Nagar on July 27.
These schools had at least eight students who skipped all the exams. There are many schools among these where the number of absentees is more than 25.
The education department records revealed a total of 9,870 students were absent in the Class 5 annual exams, while 10,214 students skipped the exams in Class 8.
Cheema said: “It is for the first time that such data has come forward and we are taking it seriously. We will like to know if the students moved to some other area and are receiving education or not.”
The education minister will ask the principals to furnish information about all these students along with their addresses.
Will help unearth ‘bogus’ students
To check the number of students not appearing for the exams, the state education department had asked the officials concerned in every district to ascertain the reason for the students’ absence. Sources in the department said these students could be “bogus” admissions shown by the school authorities in order to receive various benefits, in form of uniforms and books and grants for scholarships and mid-day meal, from the government. Sources said in some cases, teachers resort to claiming an excessive number of admissions as it increased their chances of not being shifted.