Govt launches pre-pri­mary classes in state-run schools, 1.5L en­rolled

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - PUNJAB HINDUSTANTIMES - HT Cor­re­spon­dents

MO­HALI/MANSA: The Pun­jab gov­ern­ment on Mon­day started nurs­ery and kinder­garten classes in all state-run pri­mary schools for chil­dren in the age group of 3 to 6 years.

Launch­ing the pro­gramme at a gov­ern­ment el­e­men­tary school in Mo­hali on the oc­ca­sion of the Chil­dren’s Day, ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Aruna Chaud­hary said the du­ra­tion of the classes will be three hours and ev­ery­thing will be free of cost.

“This will help in strength­en­ing phys­i­cal, in­tel­lec­tual and cre­ative fac­ul­ties among chil­dren,” she said.

Ad­dress­ing con­cerns of an­gan­wadi work­ers in this re­gard, the min­is­ter said, “An­gan­wadi work­ers need not worry about their jobs. Their jobs will be in­tact. In fact, their ser­vices will be utilised to give an im­pe­tus to the ini­tia­tive.”

Mean­while, of­fi­cials said as many as 1.5 lakh stu­dents have been ad­mit­ted in the 12,500 schools across Pun­jab. The ad­mis­sion will con­tinue till Novem­ber 30.

In Malwa, the reg­is­tra­tion of stu­dents for the pre-pri­mary classes kicked off across the re­gion. As per the of­fi­cial in­struc­tions, schools had to get the class­rooms decked up, or­gan­ise cul­tural pro­grammes, special in­for­ma­tion coun­ters, and other ac­tiv­i­ties to en­sure the par­tic­i­pa­tion of max­i­mum stu­dents in the pro­gramme.

Tiny tots started ar­riv­ing with their par­ents at schools early morn­ing and were given warm wel­come by the teach­ers.

HASTY, ILL-PLANNED MOVE, SAY TEACH­ERS How­ever, most of the teach­ers who in­ter­acted with HT, termed it as a hasty and ill-planned move.

“Though in the long-term, this move may bring good re­sults, but its ill-planned im­ple­men­ta­tion at this stage has put a fi­nan­cial bur­den on teach­ers,” said Hardeep Singh, a teacher with the gov­ern­ment pri­mary school at Kal­hon vil­lage in Mansa.

The teach­ers also raised the is­sue of staff crunch and lack of funds needed to run the scheme.

“We were asked to man­age toys and other items of re­cre­ation for stu­dents for which we have paid from our own pock­ets,” said Bikkar Singh, a teacher at Mansa Khurd vil­lage.

“There are many schools in the district which are al­ready run­ning short of staff,” said Lak­sh­man Singh, a teacher of the gov­ern­ment school in Barnala.

AN­GAN­WADI WORK­ERS OB­SERVE ‘BLACK DAY’ Mean­while, an­gan­wadi work­ers ob­served ‘black day’ in protest against en­roll­ment of pre-nurs­ery stu­dents in gov­ern­ment schools. In Muk­t­sar, All Pun­jab An­gan­wadi Em­ploy­ment Union chief Har­gob­ind Kaur said, “We will lose our jobs with this illplanned move of the gov­ern­ment.”

SAMEER SEHGAL/HT

Newly en­rolled stu­dents play­ing car­rom on the floor of a class­room at the gov­ern­ment el­e­men­tary school at Ib­ban Kalan in Amritsar on Tues­day.

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