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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Mandatory NCC training in border schools to cost Punjab government Rs 7 crore

Under this project, compulsory NCC training will be provided to students of Classed 9 and 11 and first two years of college in all government schools and colleges in border districts.

education Updated: Jul 22, 2019 09:25 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
NCC cadets during their training camp at Sri Guru Harkrishan International School in Amritsar on Sunday. July 21, 2019. (Photo by Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times)
NCC cadets during their training camp at Sri Guru Harkrishan International School in Amritsar on Sunday. July 21, 2019. (Photo by Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times)
         

The department of school education has estimated ₹6.68 crore for making National Cadet Corps (NCC) training compulsory for the students of government schools in border districts of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Ferozepur, said sources in know of the development.

The decision was reached at a high-level meeting chaired by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on July 8. Under this project, compulsory NCC training will be provided to students of Classed 9 and 11 and first two years of college in all government schools and colleges in border districts.

This is among the few initiatives taken by the government to create awareness among students about the drug menace in the districts, which are prone to smuggling narcotics, and also prepare them for armed and paramilitary forces. The decision is based on a formal proposal submitted by district education officers (DEOs) to the finance department. “It will help youth to join armed and paramilitary forces, besides inculcating a strong sense of discipline among them”, said the chief minister while accepting the proposal.

As per education department record, there are 47,610 students in Class 9 and 40,775 students Class 11 in these districts. These districts have 365 high schools and 365 senior secondary schools.

A government official requesting anonymity said that hiring of one ex-serviceman of junior commissioned officer (JCO) rank in a block on contract basis has been proposed and a salary of ₹15,000 per month could be fixed for them. There are total 53 blocks and salaries will cost government around ₹71 lakh in nine months.

He said there will be a requirement of one ex-serviceman of hawaldar rank for every 10 schools to provide basic trainings to physical education teachers and oversee progress in these schools. Considering the number of schools, 730 hawaldar have been proposed for hiring which will cost around ₹65 lakh if they are paid ₹10,000 for nine months, he said.

“Around 88,385 students in these schools will need uniforms, which will cost government more that ₹ 5crore,” he added.

Amritsar district education officer (secondary) Salwinder Singh said they are ready to implement the plan but is awaiting formal guidelines in this regard from the government. Asked about the logic behind providing the training only to border districts, Tarn Taran DEO (S) Satnam Singh said, “Making border youth active is major reason behind it.”

Students, parents welcome move

“It is a good decision. NCC training will help students getting recruited in the armed forces,” said Vishal Singh, a Class 8 student of Government Senior Secondary School at Khilchian village in Amritsar.

“In border areas, there are limited employment opportunities, especially for girls. The move will be beneficial for us,” said Harmanpreet Kaur, a Class 10 student of Government High School at Phaloke village in Tarn Taran.

Harjit Kaur, mother of Gurbhej Singh studying in Khilchian school, said, “As the area is drug affected, making NCC compulsory will keep the students away from the menace.”

Surjit Singh of Rasoolpur village in Tarn Taran whose son is studying in the government school there, said, “Apart from providing NCC training, the government must also ensure job opportunities for them. The training is already underway in many schools, but very few get jobs in the forces”.