Home

  News & Views

  Journal

  Seminars

  Publications

  I S C

  Research Project

  About Us

  Contacts

 
 

BACK


On the ISC Front

Lt Gen Kartar Singh*

As readers well know we lost our great leader, friend and philosopher in Dr Kharak Singh ji. He was an Ideologue par excellence. It was on the momentous day of 11th Dec. 2005 when this outstanding and devout Sikh laid the foundation of the International Sikh Confederation (Sansar Sikh Sanstha). We are now three years old – years wherein our organization has established itself in the country. Our members are our strength. We are endeavouring to put ourselves on the international map and I’m sure our NRI members, will now activate themselves and the ISC. The best tribute we can pay Dr. Kharak Singh ji is to march forward in greater strength with emphasis on the uplift of the Sikh community and all mankind – do remember that sarbat da bhala is our motto.

On the Education Front
We have made good progress in the coaching classes for rural students at Mukandpur, Distt. Nawanshahr and Khant Manpur near Morinda. There are now two batches of rural children being coached for professional competitions in each center, i.e., present +1 and +2 class students who have been admitted to these classes and are diligently and successfully pursuing their studies.

Preparation for NDA/IMA Entrance Examination
HQ Defence Welfare Organisation Jalandhar is already running professionally excellent classes for entry to NDA and IMA. On my last visit to this excellent training center, Col Manmohan Singh who heads the centre has agreed to accept batches of eligible rural students sponsored by us. The ISC will finance this project and we are due to finalize this project very soon. Brig Kuldip Singh Kang, our worthy member and an experienced officer has undertaken to liaise and organize this project designated as ‘Aghe Vadho’. We shall soon follow this up with a course to train unemployed youth in villages for recruitment into the lower ranks of the Armed Forces.

Baba Sewa Singh ji (Kar Sewa Wale) had already been requested to run such a course for rural unemployed youth at Khadoor Sahib in Distt Tarn Taran. He responded most willingly and I had the honour of inaugurating the first course. After three months of intense training, these young men look forward to success in entering the Armed Forces. Baba ji is also training youth in hockey and is very confident that most of them will don India colors very soon.

Co-Ordinating NGO Activities
After a preliminary meeting of a few NGO’s who are already doing good work on the education front in Punjab and neighboring states, we had scheduled a meeting of all NGO’s / organizations propagating education in Punjab on 20 Dec 2008. This led to a whole day of presentations and discussions with the following aims and objectives:-

a Awareness in full of each other’s projects.
b Limitation if any so that others may help out.
c Future plans with proposed budgets.
d Whatever help can the ISC render in terms of co-ordinating various spheres of activity and filling gaps where required.
e Need to avoid duplication of effort where necessary.
f The role of the ISC in rendering help where necessary.
g Responsibility to be given to our various chapters in Punjab to render help and co-ordination.
h Need to keep each other updated in the future with regard to various educational activities by all participants.

The seminar on 20 Dec 2008 was a complete success. We had a number of representatives from NGO’s active in Punjab and eminent educationists attending and expressing their views. We have collated their views and are in the process of analyzing them so as to formulate concrete action-oriented projects. Some useful inputs obtained are listed below: -

a Village Uplift in Education: There is need for NGO’s to adopt villages that are particularly backward. Interaction with the Panchayats and Gurdwaras would be the starting point, leading to NGO’s setting up Primary and then Secondary Schools with excellent dedicated staff.
b Setting up of libraries and giving Panchayats the responsibility to encourage youth to utilize these.
c Indoctrination of backward villages and NRI’s to divert funds towards educational uplift rather than building Gurdwaras, Gates and Monuments.

All participants felt that the number of NGOs operating in Punjab were insufficient. There is an urgent need for the ISC to persuade the Punjab Government to bring in NGOs for each District. When this is achieved, NGOs could even cover each block.

The need to strengthen the liaison between the various NGOs and the SGPC was strongly felt. In fact all participants felt that the ISC should undertake this task with vigour. We also need to encourage the setting up of career guidance camps so as to closely interact with and guide rural students in the right direction. In fact we need to publish and distribute pamphlets in Punjabi on career planning.

The availability of well qualified teachers in various subjects especially in English, Science and Mathematics was a stark reality. The ISC needs to tackle this on a long term basis. Too much reliance being placed on induction of teachers from other states is a negative factor.

Improvement in Government Schools
Our readers know that 75% to 80 % of our people reside in the rural areas of Punjab. Education standards are below par. Towards improvement, we had in 2006 carried out research in this sphere and sent concrete advice to the Punjab Government with regard to instituting measures to improve the set-up. On review of the set-up and analysis of the results, we have found some improvement. But this is far from satisfactory. We have now forwarded our analysis based on this year’s results in the 8th, 10th and 12th classes to Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, the honourable Chief Minister. The effect has been good and as per recent press reports, which some of you would have read, the government has taken many steps to improve things in Government schools. Our stress on holding teachers responsible and accountable based on results has borne fruit. We have a very capable DG of Higher Secondary Education in Shri Krishan Kumar. He has instituted path breaking reforms such as monthly inspections of schools, surprise checks, the EDUSAT scheme for coaching and various other measures. We in the ISC fully support these measures and will continue to monitor results in the future (A copy of our letter to the CM is attached at Appendix ‘A’).

Conclusion
Our schemes and projects on the Education front are gradually bearing fruit. Let us strengthen these financially so that there is no pause in our valiant efforts due to paucity of funds. The Guru Nanak Education Fund (GNEF) beckons you for donations. I must mention a touching gesture by our founder, the late Dr. Kharak Singh Ji and his family. They have contributed Rupees Five Lakhs to the GNEF recently, in addition to their generous donations earlier. As a tribute to this noble gesture let us vow to strengthen our resolve to help the needy section of our population starting with the rural areas of Punjab.
~~~

To

Sardar Prakash Singh Badal,
Honourable Chief Minister of Punjab,
Punjab Central Secretariat,
Sector 1, Chandigarh

Sub: State of Education in Government Schools of Rural Punjab

Sir,
1. The Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS) and the International Sikh Confederation had organised a Seminar on the above subject on 1st and 2nd October 06. A number of educationists and scholars from all walks of life had submitted papers and many intellectuals took active part in the Seminar.

2. Finally a panel of the following was constituted:
Dr. Kharak Singh Mann
Dr. Sardara Singh Johl Lt. Gen. Kartar Singh Gill PVSM (Retd.) S. Gurdev Singh IAS (Retd.) Dr. Anup Singh Principal G.S. Shergill (Retd.) S. Pritam Singh Bhogal Prof. Kulwant Singh

3. A “Memorandum to the Punjab Government” was duly submitted along with very elaborate recommendations. This was forwarded to HE Governor of Punjab, the Honourable Chief Minister and the Education Minister of Punjab in October 06. HE the Governor then forwarded this to the Director of Education, Punjab with Information to us.

4. We kept a close eye on the results of Government Higher Secondary Schools in Rural Punjab. We do find improvement in certain aspects such as pass percentages. However, Mathematics and English need considerable improvement. Our detailed comments on the results of 8th, 10th & 10+2 classes based on official result sheets obtained from the Punjab Education Board are at Appendix ‘A’.

5. With regard to science subjects there is a visible weakness in that many Blocks in Punjab do not cater for the science stream at all. For example in the Nadala Block of District Kapurthala no school caters to science students. This is mainly the reason why rural students are not able to reach the University level as well as remain well behind others in Competitive Examinations.

6. Our member organization from Delhi, i.e., the Gian Sewa Trust whose active Chairman S. Harwinder Singh Phoolka has toured Punjab and has actively observed the lack of dedication of teachers in most Government Schools. The Education Department has not made the Principals and Teachers accountable with regard to punctuality in attendance, dedication and maintaining discipline, providing quality education and preventing drop outs.

7. We have no doubts that the Honourable CM, who is already conscious of Punjab’s weakness on the education front, will initiate measures to remedy this situation. Adarsh Schools fulfil a secondary requirement, whereas Government schools are the primary means of rendering good education in rural Punjab where 75% of our people reside. The taxpayer has a big stake in this widespread and costly existing infrastructure. Government teachers are getting a handsome pay but their contribution is not noteworthy. We must not shirk from taking strong action to instill discipline and accountability in the delinquent teachers in Government Schools especially in our rural areas.

8. We urge you to direct the Education Ministry and Director Education concerned to hold these teachers responsible for poor results, and helping in the use of unfair means in examinations. These teachers, who are handsomely paid, must ensure genuine improved results in university and School examinations. We assure you of public support in this regard. In this respect any support required from us will be rendered spontaneously.

9. We request you earnestly to take urgent action in this regard as Punjab’s future lies in the speedy uplift of school education in rural areas.
1. Lt. Gen. Kartar Singh Gill PVSM (Retd.)
2. S. Gurdev Singh Brar IAS (Retd.)
3. Bibi Baljit Kaur
4. Lt. Col. J.S. Multani
5. Prof. Kulwant Singh
6. S. Gurpreet Singh
7. S. Khushal Singh
APPENDIX ‘A’

STATE OF EDUCATION IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOL OF RURAL PUNJAB

1. We have obtained the summary of results from the Punjab Schools Education Board for standard 8, 10 and 10+2 for the year 2008. These also indicate the comparison between results of the year 2007 and 2008.
8th Class Results
2. In two most important subjects i.e. English and Mathematics the results are as follows: -
Subject Total Students Passed Passed % 2008
a. Mathematics 436980 298188 68.24
b. English 436980 272806 62.43
Remarks:
a. 1,64,174 Students have failed (pass % 62.43) against 61.26 % in 2007
b. 1, 38,792 failed. Pass % is 68.24 against 49.76 in 2007
Matric Results
3. Results in English and Mathematics are follows: -
Subject Total Students Passed Passed % 2008 a. English 268720 215561 80.22
b. Mathematics 268720 15526 57.76
Remarks:
a. 50159 students failed
b. 113514 students failed
10+2 Results (Science and Commerce Group)
4. The results here are much better. Because of drop outs the total number of students is naturally much less. However results in Mathematics indicate that 3219 students out of a total 18676 have failed.
10+2 Results (Humanities)
5. The results here are very good.
General Remarks
6. Students in rural areas are basically weak in English and Math. In fact those who have passed too are very weak in spoken and written English. The result is that a very small percentage is successful in various competitive examinations. Besides we also know that our Examination Centres still condone copying and use of unfair means. Hence above results are not true indications of the quality of those who pass.


¤


ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2007, All rights reserved. Free Counters from SimpleCount.com