If facts are any indication, the ambitious project of the Punjab government to start residential schools would face a major problem as the parents of girl students are not ready to send them to fully residential schools.
The major reason is that parents are not much convinced about the security of their daughters in the schools.
The fully residential school situated on the premises of the Government Sports College here is scheduled to start its maiden academic session from July.
DEO (secondary) Neelam Kumari, concerned over the fact, told HT, "The Punjab government would have to take some measures to ensure that parents of girls were convinced, else it would pose a problem."
She said, "We will have to convince them that their daughters will be safe and rather groomed better to face the challenges of life," the DEO said.
At present, the construction work of the fully residential school is going on in full swing. The chief minister had laid the foundation stone of the school on December 18.
District science supervisor Baljinder Singh said there was a need for the special effort to persuade students and their parents.
However, contrary to this, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka said there would be no such problem for the students as preference would be given to the needy meritorious students and their parents would appreciate the grooming at the school.
He said, "As far as the safety is concerned we will keep proper security arrangements and separate hostels will be constructed. Each class will have 40 to 50 students. The project will prove a boon for the brilliant students who would get free education, boarding and lodging."
The minister said the government would establish proper indoor and outdoor game courts, engage best teachers for preparing meritorious students to ensure their overall development and preparing them for higher studies.
The project envisages that the poor and bright students, securing 80% and above marks in matriculation, would be given free education in classes 11 and 12. The preference would be given to the financially weaker students.
An average of 500 students each would be admitted to six such residential schools at Jalandhar, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Patiala, SAS Nagar and Amritsar.
Nearly 3,300 students of class 10 bagged 80% marks in the board examinations last year.