Schools of Eminence : Lofty idea, haphazard implementation.
Nawanshahr March 25,2023
The AAP government is gearing itself up to implement its much clamoured project of transforming government schools , one each in 117 assembly segments, into Schools of Eminence to provide state of the art infrastructure as well as quality education facilities on par with international standards.
The process of admission on the basis of the test of the students, who have registered themselves online for seeking admission, is currently underway for starting the flagship quality education project from the ensuing academic session.
Though the onset of next academic session is not far away but till now the schools enlisted under the School of Eminence scheme are yet to be equipped with the requisite infrastructural as well as human resource facilities at the cutting edge level in letter and spirit, thanks to the alleged haphazard manner of implementation of the much publicised prestigious project.
Most of the school principals, whose schools have been selected for transforming into School of Eminence are themselves at a loss to know about the availability of the promised infrastructural facilities,staff as well as the fate of the students of middle classes as the Schools of Eminence would cater to the quality education requirements of the students from 9th to 12th classes.
Though the principals of the staff of the Schools of Eminence have launched an awareness campaign to mobilise the students and parents for online registration for the entrance examination to seek admission to these schools for ensuring bright future , but they are tight lipped to explain what new infrastructural facilities and faculty have been added to these existing schools for converting into Schools of Eminence.
The major problem being faced by the principals of these schools of eminence is regarding the students of middle classes. The admission in 6th standards has been stopped in these schools. The proposals for shifting the students of 7th and 8th classes to nearby schools are being mooted. They have been facing the ire of the parents who are bound to face a lot of hardships to admit their wards in far off schools. Now, the Education Department has clarified that if the schools have sufficient infrastructure then the admissions in classes 7th,8th,10th and 12th classes could also be done alongwith 9th and 11th classes in these schools.
Some principals on the condition of anonymity said that it seemed that the government had not done any spade work in preparation for launching the prestigious scheme of Schools of Eminence.
Sources in the Department say that the
Human Resource Management is one of the major five pillars (other pillars are Infrastructure, Academics, Sports & Co-curricular Activities, and Community Engagement) of SoE under which qualified, able and visionary principals take charge of SoE schools and government is proposing ‘Zero’ vacancy in teaching and non-teaching posts.
But , currently these schools are facing scarcity of staff, labs and other requisite infrastructure for
offering multiple streams for students of classes 11th and 12th under academics is another important feature of SoE.
Besides, though in media publicity it is not being cleared but the officials of the department at the helm of the affair of SoE project are saying that at the moment the government is only upgrading four schools into SoE in district Amritsar on a priority basis and the remaining will be upgraded in the coming years.
Democratic Teachers Front,Punjab has recently organised a seminar and protest march in Jalandhar to oppose the New Education Policy-2020 of the Union government under which the AAP government in Punjab is going to set up SoE.
The Educationists say that the conversion of existing schools in SoE , that too in such a haphazard manner would not bring in any change in the education system. Instead of transforming just a minor fraction of schools into SoE, the government should provide all the required teachers in government schools on priority basis as other things including some kind of infrastructure can wait but a shortage of teachers and required infrastructure for various streams including laboratories could not wait as these must be provided with immediate effect.
Why the government is adopting pick-and-choose criteria to make SoE instead of equipping the existing schools with requisite facilities for ensuring equal access to quality education to all the students, further quipped the educationists.