Sunday, April 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Monthly exams mandatory for primary schools
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, April 19
To regularise teaching work in more than 1,000 government primary schools of the district, monthly examinations for all primary schools have been made mandatory this month onwards.

As per the new directions issued by Mr C.M. Puri, District Education Officer (Elementary), all primary schools will be issued monthwise syllabus and teachers will have to cover it within the stipulated time. The schools will also have to prepare their own date-sheets and question papers for all six subjects and hold examinations at the end of each month, Mr Puri said. The DEO has also stated that answer-sheets will have to be checked by the teachers and the progress report of each student will have to be maintained in a result register.

Even though primary schools have not been asked to submit any progress report with the District Education Department, Mr Puri has directed all head teachers to keep their result registers and other documents ready by the month-end for he will pay surprise visits to schools to ensure that his directions were being followed rightly.

Mr Puri said it had come to his notice that several school teachers were not regular about their teaching work and skipped several chapters from the syllabi of different subjects. As a result, students were left to themselves to complete their entire syllabus with many lessons untouched till the end, he said. Mr Puri said with the implementation of the new scheme, he hoped that the results would improve and syllabus would be covered well in time.

While the system of monthly examinations was being followed for Classes XI and XII in all senior secondary schools for the past one and a half years at the state level, Mr Puri said the same would apply at the primary level within the district. Till the previous session, the schools had been taking examinations twice a year, but from now on monthly tests would be conducted to make sure that students performed well in their terminal examinations.

However, the new proposal of the DEO has been opposed outrightly by teachers from the primary classes. They said they were already overburdened due to lack of adequate staff, non-teaching duties and elaborate paper work. They said it would be impossible for them to hold monthly examinations in their schools.

A teacher from a government primary school said since the posts of head teacher and two other staff members were lying vacant in her school, she alone was teaching all five classes. She said she would have to prepare the syllabus of all five classes, teach them all six subjects, prepare the date-sheets and question papers, check as many as 300 answer-sheets and then even prepare progress reports of all of them. “I am also expected to look after the renovation work in my school, do all administrative duties, attend frequent meetings with the block education officers and collect data for the Sarb Sikhya Abhiyan. Now they expect me to do all this. The department should first appoint sufficient teachers and supporting staff in the school before issuing any such directions,” she said.



Fancy dress show on current issues
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
Based on various current issues, children of junior classes from Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, participated in a fancy dress show here today. Students from Classes II to V were divided under four themes. The first theme covered under the event was ‘Iraq war and condemnation of George Bush’. Children taking part in this theme depicted the horrors of war.

The second theme was ‘Modern politicians’ and the students imitated politicians of different states, including Mayawati, Laloo Prasad, Yadav, Capt Amarinder Singh, Rabri Devi, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Sushma Swaraj.

The third theme pertained to ‘Begging — a social evil in our country’ in which children in tattered clothes depicted various ways in which begging was done.

The last theme on ‘Burden of books’ was in students’ own interests. Kids in school dress carrying heavy school bags depicted the scene and showed how teachers and parents were silent observers.

Ms B. Gulati, Principal, appreciated the efforts of the students and the teachers.



Private colleges get new lease of life
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
With the induction of Mr Harnam Dass Johar as Minister for Higher Education and Languages, Punjab, private colleges have got a new lease of life. Mr Johar has removed the 10 per cent cut on 95 per cent deficit grant-in-aid imposed by the previous government. Eighty per cent of the students receiving higher education are studying in privately managed aided colleges. Whereas only 20 per cent students are studying in Government Colleges, 80 per cent of the government budget is consumed by these colleges and only 20 percent is granted to private colleges.

Following the decision taken by the minister, it is expected that students from other states will come to Punjab for higher studies. SDP College here is already imparting education to many students from outside the state. 



Singing contest for children

Ludhiana, April 19
The Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society will hold a singing competition for children (boys and girls) on May 3 and 4 at the DAV College mini-auditorium in Chandigarh. The male participants will sing songs sung by Mohammed Rafi and the female participants will sing Lata’s numbers.

The competition will consist of one best singer award and two runners-up trophies in both categories. These awards will be given away by a film personality in the society’s annual Rafi Nite to be held in November this year.

The interested participants can come directly on the above mentioned dates and venue or can apply to Mr B.D. Sharma, 3035, Sector 29-D, Chandigarh, before April 30. TNS



Police remand for doctor
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
The Duty Magistrate, Mr D.P.Singla, today remanded Dr Amarjit Singh Grewal, accused of doing private practice, to two-day police remand. He was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau from his residence-cum-private clinic situated in the Ghumar Mandi area.

As per the Vigilance Bureau officials, the accused was working as a Medical Officer in a government dispensary in Phillaur. He was produced late evening before the Duty Magistrate. 



Of ghazal and its writers

Punjabi language has retained its oriental essence being closest to Sanskrit. It has digested words from the Turko-Arabic stream through Persian. It has assimilated several words of Indo-European stock through English. It also shares vocabulary with sister languages of North India. Its literature has been enriched by all communities. The Muslims were the pioneers and took leading role. The Hindus of all denominations have made rich contribution. The Christians introduced press and journalism and modernised printing. The Sikhs arrived late. Currently, owning it as integral part of Punjabi identity.

Several forms of art enrich Punjabi life, literature and ethos. Some literary forms are a proof of progressive quality of Punjabi literature. A distinct genre of Persian is ghazal. Urdu poets imbibed it. Urdu poets of Punjab, Iqbal and Faiz, were pioneers. It arrived in Punjabi. It made a modest entry. The trend looked modest, but healthy. Now it is becoming more and more popular. As form it is a rage, a literary fashion.

Initially, poets conversant with Persian script attempted it. Ghazal demands strict metrical structure, such as “bandish” of classical ragas. No novice can succeed. Brevity is soul of ghazal. Each couplet is complete. Pakistani Punjabis wrote good ghazals. Our own poets of yore did well. Punjabis was once considered to be unsuitable for ghazal writing. The good poets belied this view. Ludhiana has produced numerous ghazal writers. Takhat Singh (Jagraon) knew Persian prosody and wrote fine Urdu ghazals. He took to Punjabi and did equally well. Joginder Singh (Rampur) wrote “Pingal te Arooz” that gave guidance. An intimate friend of Sahir, Ibn-e-Insha and Hamid Akhtar, Ajaib Chitarkar rose to be acknowledged as “ustaad”. He took many “shaagirds” under his wings. He heads Ghazal Manch, a platform for lovers and learners of this fine poetic genre. He leads and inspires his flock. Offers advice and does corrections.

Surjit Rampuri, Surjan Singh Mauj, Raj Dular and Mohinder Rampuri joined the ghazal bandwagon. Surjit Khurshidi mastered the technique as he knew Persian. G.S. Pandohl, Bakhshi Ram Kaushal, Lal Singh Dil, Inderjeet Hassanpuri, Prem Payalvi, Harcharn Mangat, Darshan Singh Darshan, A.S. Hamrahi, S.N. Sewak, Chaman Lal Sukhi, John Akbar Rahi, Satish Gulali, Bhupinder Harsh and Krishan Bhanot are recognised as successful ghazal poets. Mohinder Deep and Kulwant Jagraon benefitted by their proximity to Takhat Singh. Kulwant Neelon was a master craftsman of metrical structure. Kartar Singh Kalra is a perfectionist. Gurdial Raushan, Jagdish Neelon, Tarlochan Lochi, Jagir Preet and Gurbhajan Gill are doing well. Balwinder Singh attempted longest ghazal, a record. Prof Mohan Singh wrote some memorable ghazals. Harbhajan Halwarvi is a noteworthy signature. Currently, Surjit Patar is the leading light of ghazal.

“One merit of poetry few persons will deny: It says more and in fewer words than prose,” wrote Voltaire. Ghazal needs fewer still. A few women are pursuing ghazal with zeal. They merit separate article.

M.S. Cheema


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