Open House: Will school principals’ visit to Singapore help improve the education system in Punjab?


Real issue not being addressed

All politicians irrespective of their party affiliation, when come to power, issue statements or take steps just to grab headlines in newspapers. Keeping this in mind the Punjab Government has sent 36 principals of government school to Singapore for professional training. There is no dearth of professionally-trained staff for schools. The main problem is the missing intent of spending money on infrastructure and filling vacancies of teachers. Every now and then, we come across news that teachers were on strike as their salaries were not released. In the beginning of the year there were 549 vacancies of principals in the schools and when 189 teachers were promoted for the posts of principals, no orders were issued for months. Just imagine an institution working without its head. In the light of above circumstances, such initiatives will not be able to solve problems.

Naresh Johar


The first ‘Sarkar-Kisan Milni’ (government-farmer interaction) was held at Punjab Agriculture University to frame policies as per farmers’ needs. Will such moves by the government help in improving policy implementation in agri sector?

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Will improve professional skills

Sending government school principals to Singapore for training will improve their professional skills to some extent. Later, they can share their experiences with their colleagues and students to impart the knowledge they have gained. It is a good step, but much more is required to be done apart from this to improve the condition of government schools. Many government schools lack basic facilities, inconveniencing both teachers and students. These issues must be prioritised so as to ensure a good education system is developed for the bright future of our country.

Jatinderpal Singh Batth

Step would improve education

Certainly the step would help improve the education system in the state. This is because it is for the first time in the history of the state that principals were sent to Singapore for professional training. The training provided to them in a foreign country would inculcate in them an innovative mindset. They would certainly get benefit from the professional training. On returning back, they will be in a better position to perform their duties. It is certainly beneficial for the future of schools as well as its principals.

Sanjay Chawla

Welcome initiative, implementation must

The move by Punjab CM is indeed an excellent decision. It is a well-known fact that Singapore’s education system is considered one of the best systems in the world. The foremost difference in the Indian and Singapore’s education system is creativity. The initiative by the government would prove to be constructive, only if things learnt from Singapore’s education system are actually applied on Indian education system.

Sukhmeet Kaur

Teachers will become effective and efficient

I appreciate the decision taken by the Punjab Government to send 36 principals to Singapore for training. It will enhance the education level in the state. The teachers will get a specialised training and will be able to know how to handle, manage, and solve the matters effectively and efficiently. This will sharpen their professional skills. On providing this training to all the principals, there will be a huge transformation in state”s education system. Moreover, since the teachers are the nation builders who can uplift the level of education, their teaching skills can be upgraded by providing quality training to them. It will also help in further up scaling the expertise and professional ability of the teachers to impart a quality education to students. This will prove to be a milestone for transforming the education system in the state. Secondly, students will also get the benefit of the quality education being provided to them. So, this is a revolutionary step for transforming the state’s education system completely. Punjab will soon become a front runner state in the field of education.

Jasleen Kaur

In line with New Edu Policy

Sending teachers to other institutions for training bodes well with the New Education Policy. Sending principals to Singapore to attend a five-day seminar is an educational initiative, which aims at complety transforming our education system. Such exposures have the potential to sharpen the professional skills. As per the media reports, it was the first batch of teachers and the programme will continue. There have been complaints regarding the selection procedure, but that up to the administration to handle. The idea of visiting foreign schools was long overdue. In fact, teacher and student exchange programmes have a very high educational as well as cultural value. Students also should be shown some model schools in order to motivate them to change their attitudes towards classroom and school behaviour. Schools must have full strength of teachers and non- teaching staff and midday meals.

Mohan Singh

School heads will get int’l exposure

Teachers are the real nation builders, and it’s of utmost importance that their teaching skills are upgraded by ensuring quality training of international standards. With this aim, the Punjab Government has taken an inspiring initiative to transform the education system in the state. Initially, a batch of 36 principals of government schools has been sent to Singapore for professional training. Singapore’s education system is far better than ours. A vast network of government schools exists in Punjab to provide education at affordable cost, but they urgently require improvement to become state-of-art centres for learning. In this era of sophisticated technology, when artificial intelligence is rapidly entering in every space of our life, there is a dire need to provide quality education to our youngsters so that they remain compatible with international standards. Thus to revamp the learning processes, traditional ways adopted by our teaching faculty require robust reorientation. In the first place, the training of teachers in latest techniques and skills is paramount so that they are able to impart quality education to their pupils. The current initiative of the Punjab government to send teachers and heads of select government schools abroad is appreciable. The overseas exposure will help to motivate their spirits, improve acumen to acquire higher level of proficiency in advanced teaching techniques. Not only the move will provide an opportunity for teachers to be aware of the weaknesses in our prevailing methodology, it will simultaneously serve as a catalyst towards potential improvement. For the mission to be wholly transformative, however, it should get an impetus on wider perspective to replicate innovations and technology in the field of learning.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath

Trip is A waste of taxpayers’ money

The logic to send principals to foreign country (Singapore) makes no sense, and it’s nothing more than a political gimmick. What are these experienced educationists going to learn from the people of the country, which is even not equal to one district of Punjab? The educational infrastructure, culture and students’ calibre of Singapore is entirely different than ours. It seems like a holiday trip for a few selected and favourite lot on the taxpayers’ money, which should have been ideally spent on our schools, teachers or improvement of infrastructure so that the quality of education could be raised. One fails to understand that who has misled the Chief Minister or ministers on this concept of adopting other countries’ education system. Our country is full of eminent educationists and scholars. The government is creating a lot of controversy and confusion in their policies, planning and administration. It would be better if the standard of teaching and schools’ infrastructure is improved, which will consequently have a positive impact on the quality education.

Col GS Bhullar

Training will improve standards

Definitely, it will. For a system to improve three things are required — motivation, good leadership qualities and techniques. Although our worthy principals must be having all these qualities, the training in Singapore will rekindle the spark in them which usually dies when we work in a government system. In our education system, the majority view of the stakeholders, including senior administrators, teachers, students and parents, is that nothing could be done to improve the system. So, it becomes very difficult for the leader (Principal) to move things in right direction. This training will motivate them to deal with reluctant seniors, team up with teachers through new leadership skills and implement innovative teaching and learning techniques for better learning outcomes. Moreover, they will be answerable also for the result-oriented implementation of the training. Although 36 is a very small number, keeping in mind the 3,600 secondary and senior secondary schools in Punjab, it is hoped that those who got the training would make their schools a model for others to follow. Their expertise should be used by the department to train the other heads of schools also.

Kulwinder Kaur

Have doubts about S’pore’s edu system

How the 36 government school principals, who have sent to Singapore for professional training, will help improve the education system in Punjab is a moot point. Of all the places, why was Singapore zeroed in on by the government? What was the selection criteria and need to send these principles to a foreign country? All these questions might have prompted the Governor to question arbitrary selection of principles for Singapore training. No doubt the healthcare of Singapore is worth emulating, but it can’t be said so about its education system. In the early 1980s, my eldest brother, an English teacher in a school in Jalandhar, was sent to the University of Lancaster for training of teachers of English in Punjab under Colombo plan. After his return, he was shifted to Teachers Training Institute in Jalandhar itself. Many English teachers in government schools were sent to the training institute to lean new teaching techniques and acquire new skills. Will the same happen to the principals who have been sent to Singapore? Their visit will matter only when they impart their learning to other teachers. Otherwise it will be yet another exercise in futility and burden on exchequer. Let’s hope it’s not a political gimmick, and a step in the right direction.

Dr JS Wadhwa

An innovative step to transform edu system

The Punjab Government’s decision of sending 36 school principals to Singapore for professional training is an innovative step taken for the purpose of upscaling teaching skills and professional technology in the field of education. The step is taken to transform the education system for making it more suitable in the mission of making state prosperous as promised by AAP. Presently, Singapore is worldwide known for its excellent education system largely responsible for their social and economic development. However, the exercise should be properly followed up to ensure its impact and desired results on the ground.

Jagdish Chander

Onus is on school principals

Following in the footsteps of the AAP dispensation in Delhi, the Punjab Government’s decision to send 36 principals to Singapore to participate in a professional teachers’ training seminar (February 6-10) is welcome. This is in line with the pre-poll promise of AAP in the run-up to the Assembly elections last year to bring reforms in the ailing education sector, which was hard-hit in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. The move will enable these school heads to sharpen their teaching and organisational skills. When they will share their experiences with their colleagues and students, it is expected to help in imparting quality education. But if they are not serious in learning new education techniques and treat the tour as mere picnic, it will defeat the very purpose of this noble initiative. Moreover, it will fail to win public favour and is likely to be treated as a political gimmick by the ruling AAP dispensation for political mileage. To ensure that its efforts bear fruit, the authorities should increase budgetary allocation to the education sector, make up for the existing infrastructural inadequacy, recruit regular qualified teaching and non-teaching staff, accept their pending demands, and, above all, keep an eye on the functioning of the enlisted 117 schools.

DS Kang

Need to focus on schools in dire straits

During its electoral campaign in the last Assembly elections, the Aam Adami Party gave a guarantee to transform the state’s education sector. Sending school principals for professional training in Singapore will expose them to new teaching practices, leadership skills, creation of teaching-learning materials and audio-visual technology. If properly followed, the latest techniques in the education sector will make the state frontrunner in the field. But unfortunately, it has started an unsavoury controversy between the Governor and the Chief Minister regarding the selection criterion of the principals sent abroad. After facing the same ordeal in Delhi, the Kejriwal-led AAP government has already sent 1,000 principals abroad. It has made some major developments in the capital’s education sector and brought a praiseworthy transformation in government schools. The CM has also filed a case in the apex court against the Delhi L-G for stopping government school teachers from going to Finland. Doesn’t preventing nation-builders to hone their professional skills in foreign institutions amount to political harakiri? Similarly, Bhagwant Mann is committed to providing international-standard education system in Punjab. At a time when his dispensation has upgraded some government schools into ‘Schools of Eminence’, it is imperative to take care of many schools across Punjab which are in a dire situation for the past several years. Doing away the present shortage of principals, teachers and other employees, inadequate infrastructure and paucity of funds will improve the standard of education.

Tajpreet S Kang

Best private schools can be studied

There are a number of private schools in the state which are doing far better than their government counterparts. The government could have chosen the best among them to follow their innovative ways of teaching to improve the education standards. The principals could have got trained here only. Now when the government has sent a batch of 36 school principals to Singapore for professional training, we all should hail it and be optimistic about the results. They would have definitely learnt something new there, and can now provide better training to students in regard to international studies or education. This will go a long way in making government schools more popular and compete in a better way with the private schools. If the government schools succeed in upgrading with latest techniques and infrastructure, the Singapore visit will be worth it and more such trips can be planned. Studying in private schools is much costlier than the government schools.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru