Teachers slam move to shortlist schools under Central scheme


Amritsar, December 2

The Democratic Teachers Front has objected to the state government initiating the process of selecting schools for the PM SHRI School scheme under New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Under NEP-2020, a total of 14, 500 schools from across the country will be selected to be upgraded as PM SHRI Schools. Under the selection process, as many as 456 schools of 228 educational blocks of Punjab will also be included. The Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) Punjab has opposed the move. The teachers’ union has strongly condemned the implementation of the education policy of the Modi government to accelerate privatisation and centralisation in Punjab.

Pm shri Schools

The union cabinet has approved the centrally sponsored Scheme – PM SHRI Schools (PM Schools for Rising India), under National Education Policy 2020.PM SHRI Schools will mentor and provide leadership to other schools in their vicinity. The scheme will be implemented with a total project cost of Rs 27,360 crore for the period of five years from year 2022-23 to 2026.In this, all government, aided and non aided schools have been included for qualifying for PM SHRI Schools.

DTF state president Vikram Dev Singh and district unit head Ashwani Awasthi stated that according to the letter issued by the Punjab School Education Director General, an online portal has been released for selected schools, to shortlist two schools in each block in Punjab for the PM Shri School scheme.

Awasthi said, “The school head and the panchayat have also been instructed to upload the consent letter for the implementation of the guidelines under the New Education Policy-2020 on this portal. The fact that this is being done without any discussion in the states, is concerning.” He added, “In the name of digital education and upgradation, this further encourages the privatisation and commercialisation of education, adding to the woes of students from poor families and eliminating thousands of posts in government educational institutions.”

He further contended that the aim is to close down 70 per cent of primary, middle, high and secondary schools on the pretext of merging the corporate model of education and to employ teachers in a scattered radius of 5 km to 10 km.

“Instead of making education more scientific, progressive and democratic, in the existing school set-up, the agenda is the segregation of education. Instead of giving equal recognition to different languages, Hindi and Sanskrit are emphasised, under the one-nation-one-language idea of the central government,” he rued.

The Education Department has started conducting training workshops and capacity-building for teachers. This is being done under NEP-2020, with a view to make school education detailed through a subject-specific approach.