C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Government schools go all out to woo students
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 30
These days, an unfamiliar announcement is heard from the loudspeakers of the gurdwara in Kurari village, Kharar. The village residents are being asked to admit their children to the Government Senior Secondary School. Similarly, the local cable TV channel in Gharuan village is running a strip encouraging girls of the village to take admission in the Government School which is now offering science classes in English medium.

One is not sure if this change has something to do with Punjab Government’s recent proposal to privatise school education in the state, but one thing is certain, government schools, at least in this part of the state, have decided not to go down without a fight.

And the results are already showing. The Government Model School in Kharar had opened an year ago has already admitted more than 600 students. Other than the 25 teachers employed by the Education Department, the school has two extra teachers whom they pay through the Parents Teachers Association funds.

In the villages too, despite the uncontrolled mushrooming of private schools across Mohali and Kharar, government schools are holding fort. “We are doing our best to ensure that every student that we have in school comes back to in the next session. The drop out rate is kept as low as possible.” Moreover we have children of the poorest of the poor families coming to us for education.

If the government were to privatise schools, how are these children going to pay for it.” True enough, the school has over 300 children out of which 298 are from the reserved categories. “These children get books, scholarship and wheat from the school. Will a private school do so much for the students?” asked the teacher.

We did not have to go far to understand what the government school teachers meant. Just opposite this school in Sohana is Happy Model School, a small private school being run from a residential house. While students of the government school paid less than Rs 6 a month as fees the students in the private school paid Rs 200 a month as fees and also paid an average of Rs 250 for the books.

The school building is worse than the government school’s building and the students drink water from a hand pump. The school had a small “shop” running inside the school that sold eatables to the students. With barely enough accommodation, the school offers education till Class XII. As far as infrastructure was concerned the only thing that the private school offered to its students were chairs. While the government school had children sitting on the floor, private school students were seated on chairs. So are these children paying so much for the chairs.? “No it is the result. We have shown 100 per cent result in our Class V examinations. Can the government school make a similar claim?” pointed out the Principal of this school.

Admitting that the government schools attracted the worst students qualitatively, Ms Bachan Kaur, the Principal of Government Model School, Gharuan, however, said model schools admit only those who have scored above 60 per cent marks. “Moreover this year we are aggressively canvassing for brighter students,” she said.

However, what is expected to give a new lease of life to the government schools is the recent decision of the Punjab School Education Board to do away with the system of private examinations. “Many small private schools running in competition with the government schools in villages are able to function because they make their students appear as private candidates for Board examination at the end of the year. Once the Board bans the system of private candidates, these students would come to government schools or take admission in the Board’s open school system,” said Mr Sharanjit Singh, Principal, Government School, Kurari.



Shun tobacco, students show with colours
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 30
An inter-school on-the-spot painting competition was organised by the Generation Saviour Association at Yadavindra Public School, here, today.

As many as 519 students from 16 different schools took part in the competition. The topics for the competition were health professionals and tobacco control, passive smoking, films, fashion and tobacco, tobacco and poverty and life with and without tobacco.

Mr T.R. Sarangal, Managing Director, Punjab health Systems Corporation and Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, presented a song “Yeh adhbhut dharti seehon ki” after the competition.

Mrs Amteshwar Kaur, president of the association, said similar competitions were held earlier during the month in which nearly 1200 schools participated. She said the prize distribution function would be held on World No Tobacco Day on May 31.



From Schools
Kendriya Vidyalayas celebrate annual day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Songs, dances and skits marked the annual function celebrations of Kendriya Vidyalayas, Dappar, and Sector 47, here today. At Dappar, the programme began with tiny-tots welcoming the chief guest, Col Anil Kumar, and the guest of honour, Ms S. Mirdha, Executive Officer, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).

Students of primary classes presented a welcome song “Bowing, bowing, bow”. An English skit “A shooting test” saw the Pandavas aim for the bird’s eye. A qawwali “Maro na hamein Mummy, Bachon ka zamana hai” followed.

A skit condemning the dowry system, a giddha presentation and a comical English skit were the highlights of the programme. A school magazine was released by the chief guest. A total of 125 prizes were awarded to the students for excellence in sports, academics and co-curricular activities.

At the Sector 47 KV, the cultural programme commenced with paying obeisance to goddess Sarswati. The annual report was presented by Principal M.P. Mahajan. He highlighted the outstanding achievements of the vidyalaya in multifarious activities.

The presentation by scouts and guides was remarkable with formation of pyramids and presentation of different scenes depicting social service done by them. The cultural programme was the amalgamation of dances of different states.

The chief guest, Air Cmdr T.K. Venugopal, AOC Wing and Chairman of Vidyalaya Management Committee, inaugurated an art and craft exhibition.

A cultural extravaganza was the highlight of the annual function of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Air Force Station, High Grounds, here on Saturday.

Starting with Saraswati Vandana, the programme included Rajasthani dances, puppet dance, western and gypsy dances and Lilliput dance. A hilarious comedy, “My wife, my promotion”, was much appreciated.

Group Capt P.P. Khandekar, Commanding Officer of the Air Force High Grounds, was the chief guest and Ms Maneesha Khandekar the guest of honour. The Principal, Ms S.K. Bhatia, read out the annual report.

Meanwhile, Richa Sharma and Rajiv were adjudged as the best girl and best boy, respectively. Mr Khandekar also gave away prizes for excellence in sports, academics and co-curricular activities.

AMBALA: A scintillating performance was delivered by students of Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Ambala Cantonment at their annual function today.

Brig G.S. Malhi was the chief guest while Mr D.K. Saini, Additional Commissioner, KV Sangathan, was the guest of honour. A number of dignitaries and principals from other schools were present on the occasion.

School Principal Urmila Sharma said the programme started with Saraswati Vandana. A welcome song was sung by the students which was followed by dance based on song `Chun Chun Karti Aayi Chidya’. Senior students gave a glimpse of North-East through Naga dance.

The highlight of the programme was the release of the school magazine `Antarbodh’. The magazine has been brought out through the active participation of students.

Four students have got merit certificates from CBSE and three students participated in the SGFI games.


Students of Government Model High School and Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, celebrated “Education for all week” by organising a rally. The District Education Officer, Mr Gulzar Singh, launched the EFA drive under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. The resource co-ordinator, SSA, Ms Surinder Kaur, and Ms Kusum Gupta, cluster in charge, were also present on the occasion.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, celebrated water resources day at the school premises, here today. The Deputy DEO and Principal, Mr RS Goraya, stressed on the need to conserve water through water harvesting and watershed development.

“Water Resources Day” was celebrated by the ‘Sheesham’ Eco-Club of Government Model High School, Sector 36-D, here today with great fervour.

A slogan writing competition was also held. Mr Bahadur Singh, Project Officer, was the guest of honour who apprised the students about the importance of water resources. The Principal, Ms Rita Batra, also spoke on the occasion. Later, a rally was also taken out which was flagged off jointly by Mr Bahadur Singh and the Principal.

A project for the cleaning of drinking water tanks was also undertaken.

Global action week
The global action week by the Indian Council for Child Welfare, New Delhi, concluded at Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, here on Saturday. Competitions to sensitise students about the importance of education. The theme for the various competitions like slogan-writing, poster-making, paper-reading, declamation and essay-writing was “educate to end poverty.”

Dental camp
A panel of three dental surgeons, Dr Sanjay Bansal, Dr Vikas Sharma and Dr Anurag Kashyap, organised a dental screening programme in Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, here today.



Bishop Cotton student adjudged best speaker
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School hosted the Frank Anthony Memorial All-India Inter-Schools Debate Competition here yesterday. Conducted by the ICSE, New Delhi, five school participated in the debate. The judges were Dr Kulbir Kaur and Ms Niyti Chitkara.

Naved Tariq Bishop Cotton, Shimla was adjudged the best speaker, Shruti Shukla, Frank Anthony Public School, New Delhi, was the runners-up. The winning school team was Bishop Cotton, Shimla

Rally held

As many as 300 students of Government Model Senior School, Sector 33, took part in a rally to mark the campaigning week of the Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan. The rally was flagged off by the District Education Officer, Dr Gulzar Singh. Carrying the banners, students raised slogans to create awareness.

Career counselling

In its ongoing endeavour to help students a career counselling session was organised at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, here on Friday. The resource person, Ms Rashmi Kakkar, had an interactive session with students on effective communication. Another resource person, Ms Neeru Thapar, spoke on various aspects of SAT examination with special reference to English paper.



Teachers told to improve quality of education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
A meeting of representatives of various teachers’ unions today held a meeting with officials of the Education Department, Haryana, seeking amicable redressal of their administrative problems regarding their promotion, seniority, ACR, increment, etc, on priority basis.

The Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Education and Languages, Mr R.S. Gujral, chaired the meeting. He sought their cooperation in checking the menace of corruption, and the representatives of these unions assured their full cooperation. He exhorted them to focus their attention on improving the quality of education at all levels in the state.

Stressing on enhancing the employment capabilities of the students in the state, he suggested to impart such education which could enable the students to express themselves effectively and efficiently in this era of globalisation and liberalisation, besides imparting them education and training in various technical fields like computers, information technology, bio-technology, software, etc.

Mr Gujral warned that those teachers, headmasters and principals who were found involving themselves in malpractices of bogus enrolment, contractual teaching and bribes would be dealt with severely by taking disciplinary action against them.



UIET students’ fast continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
The fast by two students of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) outside the Vice-Chancellor K.N. Pathak’s office entered the third day today.

The students also submitted a memorandum of their demands to the syndicate members before the start of the meeting.

The two students — Manu Sharma and Rajat Jaitley — are on fast to demand a special chance to the student of semester VI whose results were declared late.

Meanwhile, the Syndicate has decided to form a committee to look into the demand.



Regional states may set up judicial academy
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Himachal Pradesh has expressed its willingness to join hands with Punjab and Haryana, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh, to set up a joint academy for members of the subordinate judiciary.

Sources in the Punjab Government say that a meeting in this regard is scheduled to be held between the Chief Secretaries of the three states on May 2 in Shimla. Senior officers of the UT Administration are also expected to participate in the meeting.

They claim that Jammu and Kashmir is also interested in training its judicial officers at the academy. As such, the state is keen on having its share in the academy.

The academy is expected to come up in Chandigarh. For the purpose, about five acres — located near the Sector 43 Inter-State Bus Terminus — have already been earmarked. The site was chosen from three possible locations. The entire process was carried out in consultation with the Punjab and Haryana High Court here.

The UT Administration has also been asked by the authorities concerned to draw up a comprehensive plan for setting up the academy, in consultation with the Chief Architect. The entire project is likely to be completed by the end of this year at an estimated cost of Rs 4 crore.

The sources add that initially the Himachal Pradesh Government was in favour of setting up the academy in the state itself. But the authorities in Punjab and Haryana wanted it to come up in Chandigarh.

The Supreme Court of India had recently recommended the setting up of such academies all over the country so that refresher courses could be organised for in-service judicial officers.

The sources claim that the academy, soon after coming into existence, is expected to organise refresher courses for the subordinate judiciary, besides familiarising them with the day-to-day functioning of the courts.

They say the academy for all practical purposes will be run under the direct supervision of the high court authorities. The role of the states is limited only to the extent of setting up the academies.



Film Review
Frames of frightening fare
Rama Sharma

A still from “Kaal”
A still from “Kaal”

F irst-timer director Soham has accomplished what few of his genre can-combating the live and burying the dead. He succeeds in making Bollywood a livewire which can annihilate the stereotype.

In ‘Kaal’ he has mounted frames upon frames full of frightening fare. His execution is deft. Like Hollywood thrillers ‘Kaal’ has its moments which edge you out of the seat. His delivery of shocks is just appropriate. Seldom does he fail to deliver the knocks so must to raze the viewers.

The theory of ultra-natural might is reinforced in a way which is imposing and psychedelic. The descent of unknown forces is accorded a treatment which is not only superb but tantalising too.

John Abraham dons the protector’s mantle with a vivacity, difficult to ignore. He makes a mark here and should be watched out as an actor who can evolve.

Seasoned Ajay Devgan gives the best here. Vivek Oberoi is a good fit.

Esha Deol and Lara Dutta in this drama of abundant scares are a mere peg to hang on. Had they been sent to a holiday tour, it would have made no difference to the fare.

Excellent background score and cinematography by Santosh Thundiyil are the hallmarks of “Kaal”.

Shah Rukh Khan and Malaika together give a resounding push in the beginning. Though their dance track does not jell with the screenplay, it is lapped up for its sheer exuberance.

Riveting spins are never in a short supply here and are inserted appropriately. At many points horror spills out from the screen. It touches you, transforming the viewers psyche, just for a while. — TNS



German film fest from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 30
Highlights of the festival of 10 German films that opens in the city on Monday are Volker Scholondroff’s ‘Tin Drum’, based on the novel of the same name by Gunter Grass, Werner Herzog’s ‘Fitzcarraldo’ featuring the great German actor, Klaus Kinski, and Hans Pflaum’s ‘I Don’t Just Want You To Love Me’, a documentary on the life of famous film-maker, Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Ms Anke Rieffenstuel, cultural counsellor, Embassy of Germany, will be present at the festival on Monday evening at the Government Polytechnic for Women auditorium, Sector 10.

The festival is being organised by the Embassy of Germany and Chandigarh Film Society in collaboration with Alliance Francaise.

The other films included in the festival, that will conclude on May 11, are Caroline Link’s ‘Nowhere in Africa’, Joseph Vismaier’s ‘Comedian Harmonists’, Tom Tykwer’s ‘Winter Sleepers’, Peter Lichtefeld’s ‘Train ‘N’ Roses’ and H.C. Blumenberg’s ‘One More Kiss and He’s Dead’.

The first festival of German films was organised by the Chandigarh Film Society 25 years ago with a retrospective of Fassbinder films. In 2000, Chandigarh was one of the 13 cities where films of the new wave German cinema were screened. Mr Tapesh Sharma, secretary of the society said, “Our next effort will be to bring German films of the silent era.” He added that although ‘Tin Drum had been screened twice earlier, it had been made a part of this festival on popular demand. 


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