Wednesday, May 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Primary education panchayats’ baby
From K.G. Dutt
Tribune News Service

KARNAL, May 30 — The Haryana Government at a high level committee meeting at Chandigarh yesterday finalised the parameters of the new education policy in the state.

In a momentous decision, the committee decided to handover the control of primary education to panchayats in the state.

The committee meeting was presided over by the Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh. Others who attended the meeting included Mr Bahadur Singh, Education Minister, Director, Higher Education, Director, Secondary Education, Director, Primary Education, two members from the managements of colleges, two members representing the principals’ associations of both government and private colleges, two representatives of the Haryana College Teachers Union, two representatives of the government college teachers and representatives of all unions and associations of teachers of government schools as and privately managed schools.

It was decided that education committees at the village level and construction committees should be constituted to supervise teaching in primary schools and the construction activity there. It was suggested that the primary education at the village-level should not be handed over to the sarpanches alone. To keep the primary education free from the clutches of the village sarpanches, it was felt that the village level education committee should have nominees of block samitis, zila parishads, principals and headmasters of important schools and public representatives too.

Certain members reportedly wanted that power to write the annual confidential reports (ACRs) of the teachers should not be vested with sarpanches. Mr Sampat Singh assured the meeting that no such thing would happen. In fact, steps would be initiated to make primary education more worthwhile. Sources told TNS today that the new concept of primary education was welcomed by almost all representatives who attended the meeting.

TNS learnt that in another important decision, the committee felt that English should be introduced in schools from first standard. However, some experienced principals like Dr Ramesh Kumar wanted teachers to be made accountable as the education system at the primary level had deteriorated over the years. In fact, the consensus was that teachers should themselves think about how the concept of accountability could be introduced.

Regarding the much-talked about information technology, the meeting felt that this should be introduced in higher classes. To make children computer conscious, it was felt that computer education should be introduced from class IX. For this, it was felt that the government should first create the needed infrastructure. If this was not done, the computer education might not prove very effective for the students.

The committee members were of the view that more caution was needed while introducing new concept in the field of primary as well as secondary education.

Another subject which cropped up related to the regularisation of the salaries of the teachers of the privately managed colleges and schools.

The Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh assured the committee members that steps were underway to ensure that teachers at both the college and school level got their salaries regularly and in time.

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