Well, this is a pretty massive leap forward. On Monday, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced a whole bunch of amazing education reforms while speaking in the Vidhan Sabha, and they really just get better and better.
Punjab will now introduce:
1. Free education for girls from nursery to the doctorate level in government institutions.
2. Free textbooks to all students in government schools.
3. Pre-primary (nursery and LKG) classes in government schools.
4. Free internet in 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.
5. Five new colleges to be set up in the current financial year.
6. Textbooks to be posted online and available for download.
7. The option of English as a primary mode of instruction in government schools.
I don’t think I can fully comprehend just how amazing all this is, and how many young people and families this is going to benefit.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, in his speech, pointed out how his government had “inherited a virtually collapsed system of school education”, said that education was the highest priority of his government and that he would support it regardless of budgetary constraints. He also pointed out his concern that society was being split into haves and haves-not, with some children gaining access to top educational facilities and others receiving a poor educational foundation.
I’m generally loving this CM Amarinder this week: he’s also responsible for fulfilling his campaign promise of implementing 50 percent reservation for women in local bodies, 33 percent reservation for women in state jobs, waiving of loans up to Rs 50,000 for members of SCs and economically weaker sections.