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Official language in unspeakable crisis

Punjab's government schools are short of Punjabi teachers. In contrast, private educational institutes that so often get the rap for not teaching the official language, do a better job of introducing children to their mother tongue. Punjabi is a compulsory subject from class 1 to 10.

punjab Updated: Jul 07, 2012 12:49 IST
Ashpuneet Kaur Sandhu
Ashpuneet Kaur Sandhu
Hindustan Times

Punjab's government schools are short of Punjabi teachers.


In contrast, private educational institutes that so often get the rap for not teaching the official language, do a better job of introducing children to their mother tongue.

In all central, Navodya and army schools affiliated with the central board of secondary education (CBSE) or Indian certificate secondary education (ICSE), Punjabi is a compulsory subject from class 1 to 10. Via a notification on March 22, 2010, the state government amended clause (e) of Section-2 of the Punjab, Punjabi and Learning of Other Languages Act, 2008, to make its teaching mandatory.

Where private schools have obeyed the rule, many government schools, especially in Bathinda district, don't have even one teacher of the subject, thanks to vacant posts. "The state government is responsible for all the recruitment," said district education officer (senior secondary) Hardeep Singh, when reached for answers.

Of the 310 posts of Punjabi teacher in the district, 130 are vacant. "Earlier my son read Punjabi as an optional subject," said Gurpreet Singh, father of a private school student. "Now it is mandatory, even to students from outside states."

The government schools require teachers of many other subjects as well, as many sanctioned posts are vacant. "Every week, we write to the education minister about vacancies," said DEO Hardeep Singh.

Education minister Sikander Singh Maluka was unavailable for comments.

Violates RTE Act

Under Section 9 (f) of the Right to Education Act, 2009, local authority has the duty of providing schools with infrastructure, teachers, and learning material.

First Published: Jul 07, 2012 12:45 IST