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Session starts, but govt schools yet to get books, uniforms

The HT contacted around a dozen schools in Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts. The principals said they have neither received the textbooks nor the uniforms so far.

punjab Updated: Apr 05, 2018 11:34 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Amritsar govt schools,Tarn Taran,education minister Aruna Chowdhary
Students of the government elementary school in Bal Labe Darya village in Ajnala.(Gurpreet Singh/HT)

The new academic session in schools started two days ago, but students of government schools in Amritsar and Tarn Taran are yet to receive textbooks and uniforms.

In November last year, the state’s education minister Aruna Chowdhary had said in the Punjab state assembly that students of government schools will get uniforms and books by February 28 before the commencement of the next session.

The statement had come in the wake of the news regarding the failure of the education department to provide textbooks to the schools in the border belt during the last academic session.

The HT contacted around a dozen schools in Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts. The principals said they have neither received the textbooks nor the uniforms so far.

The general manager of the regional office of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), Bhagwan Singh, said they have not yet received entire stock of the textbooks, but thy are dispatching the books and uniforms, which they have received, to schools.

However, he refused to disclose the total number of books required or received, and distributed so far in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur districts. He said, “We have been asked by the department not to share any information about the books to the media.”

District education officer (DEO), elementary, Shishupal, claimed they have distributed all the textbooks to the students, of Class 1 to 5 of Amritsar district. He said the students of Classes 6 to 10 will get them in the next 15 days as the DEO, secondary, Amritsar, Sunita Kiran, has deployed librarians of the schools to collect the books from the regional office. The DEO, however, said the books are being distributed.

DEO (elementary), Tarn Taran, Mukesh Joshi, said they have received around 60% of the books till now, which are being distributed among students. He said but they have not received any uniforms.

Kawal Pardeep Singh, principal of the Government Senior Secondary School, Bhikhiwind, a border town in Tarn Taran, said, “We have not received any books or uniforms. Even on Wednesday, we called the DEO office in Tarn Taran for the textbooks. But we were told that no book has been received from the department.”Jugraj Singh, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Valtoha, said they have not received any book for the students. The principals of many more schools in Amritsar district also gave the same reply.

A teacher on the condition of anonymity said, “Last year, we taught pupils without textbooks due to the department’s failure to supply them, but we want that it should not happen this year.”

Education minister Aruna Chowdhary could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

There are around 1,500 primary, 270 middle and 250 high schools in Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts and around 4 lakh students are studying in these institutions. The Punjab School Education Board ( PSEB) gives free textbooks to all the students of Classes 1 to 8 and scheduled caste (SC) students of Classes 9 and 10 in all government schools.

First Published: Apr 05, 2018 11:25 IST