This two-day seminar organised by Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, has taken a serious notice of the deteriorating state of education in rural areas of the Punjab as reflected in the high drop-out rate, poor results and rampant malpractices in examinations, lack of adequate infrastructure and adequate teaching staff, and lack of commitment on the part of teachers. Infact, the educational system at the school level, in the rural areas, has virtually collapsed. As a result, rural students are unable to get admission to universities or other institutions of higher learning or to secure recruitment to services in the government and private sectors. It is, therefore, unanimously resolved that the Punjab State Government must restructure and rejuvenate the existing school system, especially in the rural areas on a priority basis so that equal educational opportunities are available to the rural students as well and they are enabled to share the job opportunities in the fast emerging information technology related service sectors in the near future. The government must put in place an educational system, which is accountable and responsive to the aspirations of the rural masses.
It is further resolved that the management of the Tughalwal school and college at Riarki (Gurdaspur) must be granted affiliation for establishing an affiliated college of education by the state government so that their highly motivated Student-teachers get formal degrees in teacher-training to start more such model schools in the rural areas.
The seminar appreciates the excellent work done by the management of Akal Academies in the field of school education and appeals to the management to further expand the network of their academies in the state of Punjab. Akal Academy’s, educational vision and mission and that of their revered saints and founders Sant Attar Singh ji and Sant Teja Singh ji would be fulfilled by imparting school education more extensively and expediously.
The seminar resolved to create a Sikh Educational Fund for empowering the Sikh youth with the best tools of education so that they can become stakeholders in the national and international services and enterprises.
The seminar calls upon all Sikh institutions to start crash courses in communication skills, English, Mathematics, Science and IT skills apart from their role of imparting religious education.
The seminar constituted a panel consisting of Dr S S Johl, Dr Anup Singh, Principal G S Shergill, Sardar Gurdev Singh IAS (retd), Lt Gen Kartar Singh Gill (retd), Sardar Pritam Singh Bhopal, and Prof Kulwant Singh to draft a comprehensive report and various memoranda to be submitted to the concerned authorities dealing with the above-mentioned issues.