Govt launches pre-primary classes in state-run schools, 1.5L enrolled
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.”
Newly enrolled students playing carrom on the floor of a classroom at the government elementary school at Ibban Kalan in Amritsar on Tuesday.