An Adarsh School will soon be opened in every block of the state, going by the letter circulated by the Punjab Education Development Board (PEDB) to identify suitable locations for the project.
A letter has been sent by the PEDB to three circle education officers (CEOs) in Faridkot, Jalandhar and Nabha and district education officers (DEOs) (secondary) of the state, about the proposal for setting up block-level Adarsh schools on a public private partnership (PPP).
The PEDB assistant director wrote the letter letter, a copy of which is with HT, to the CEOs and DEOs directing them to tie-up with deputy commissioners to identify locations for the schools.
It also directed for the information to be passed on to the PEDB as soon as possible so that process may be started.
According to the letter, the district panchayat departments have been directed to find out details of vacant land of about three to five acres, where schools can be set up, from village panchayats.
A PEDB official said the project was proposed in 2008 by the state government to impart education to children in rural areas. But, lukewarm response from private players prevented the project from taking off.
Under this proposal, the state government will provide land free of cost, on lease for 99 years, to private partners to set up the schools.
The management of the Adarsh schools, provision of teaching and non-teaching staff, their training will be the responsibility of the private players.
He added that rural students had to shift to urban areas because of lack of senior secondary schools in villages.
The official said that though the panchayat department forwarded several proposals to the PEDB in 2008, when auctions for opening schools were held for private players, it failed to garner sufficient response.
Saying that Jalandhar district had 11 blocks and 900 villages, he added that the panchayat department received many proposals which would soon be referred to PEDB through the deputy commissioner.
If the project gained momentum, the state will have 146 block-level schools, which will benefit rural students, he said. Confirming about the letter, district education officer (secondary) Harinder Pal Singh said, “We have received proposals from five blocks, which have shown interest in the project, right now and these have been forwarded to the PEDB.”
We are asking the remaining six blocks to send the names of villages where lands are available, he said.
After receiving proposals from the entire state, an auction will be held for private players, he added.