The new rationalization policy of Punjab education department would play havoc with over two lakh students studying in government middle schools who will be deprived of Punjabi s well Hindi teachers. Lambasting the irrational rationalization, former education minister Daljeet Singh Cheema averred that this dictatorial order issued by the education department would be a severe blow to the teaching of mother tongue Punjabi as well as to our national language Hindi.
Moreover, these schools spread over the remote far-flung villages, especially in the border area and dotted on difficult terrain in the entire state. Under the rationalization, the strength of each such school is slashed from six to four and henceforth only one teacher would teach both Hindi and Punjabi language while another would give lessons in arts and craft and also act as Physical Training Instructor (PTI). Urging the Punjab government to have a relook at the rationalization policy announced on August 25, Dr. Cheema said the policy has been framed without application of mind as it would further deprive and discriminate the poor, hapless and underprivileged students of the middle schools.
The policy would adversely affect 2,21,000 students studying in over 2500 middle schools, 90 percent of these are in rural areas. “How can a Punjabi teacher teach Hindi when he has studied Hindi up to matriculation only and it was not even compulsory to pass in the subject”, pointed out Dr. Cheema saying that there would be Punjabi teacher who has no expertise to teach Hindi or vice versa. Similarly, a good PTI may be good in Yoga and sports too but may not even know ABC of arts and craft. When a teacher knows only one language, how he could teach other?, Dr. Cheema asked and averred that students would either learn Hindi or Punjabi and won’t develop a communication skills essential component of education.
Dr. Cheema said that such an arrangement would reduce teaching in these schools to a farce and the proposed rationalization not only defy simple logic but is in gross violation of the stipulations of the Right To Education Act wherein it is mandatory that only subject expert should teach concerned students at middle and secondary level.