AAP’s maiden Punjab Budget evokes mixed response from teaching fraternity

AAP’s maiden Punjab Budget evokes mixed response from teaching fraternity

There are some aspects of the state Budget presented by the Aam Aadmi Party, which have been lauded by teachers. However, there are grouses which teachers say have been left unaddressed in the Budget by the party. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 27

There are some aspects of the state Budget presented by the Aam Aadmi Party, which have been lauded by teachers. However, there are grouses which teachers say have been left unaddressed in the Budget by the party.

The main grievance was no mention of the restoration of old pension scheme and no elaboration about the 36,000 contractual employees to be hired. The government promises their recruitment. But what category are these, how many are teachers? Ganesh Bhagat, general secretary, Government School Teachers’ Union

There has been an allocation of 16.27 per cent for school and higher education which is said to be more than the previous Budget, but we do not deem this enough given the needs of the government schools. Vikramjit Singh, President, Democratic Teachers’ Front

Teachers welcome increased allocations in the Budget, including overall allocation, midday meal and uniforms, they rued the lack of mention of the old pension scheme and no specific clarification on many empty posts.

Vikramjit Singh, president, of the Democratic Teachers’ Front, said, “There has been an allocation of 16.27 per cent for school and higher education which is said to be more than the previous Budget, but we do not deem this enough given the needs of the government schools.” There are 40,000 vacant posts in government schools and infrastructure in many schools is poor. Around 30,000 posts had been advertised last year by the government itself. To ensure adequate manpower in schools alone, a hefty Budget will be needed.

The current allocation is not enough. Additionally, a “School of Eminence” scheme has been brought in for 100 chosen schools. But what about the rest of schools. That’s just an added category. There are already government schools, smart schools, Adarsh Schools, meritorious schools - many of these projects are languishing. The addition of another category will only add to confusion. The Budget in principle seems to give a fillip to centralisation by laying stress on some schools and schemes rather than focusing equally on all. The Budget also does not mention anything about the restoration of old pension scheme for those appointed after January 1, 2004.”

Vikramjit Singh added, “What we do welcome about the Budget is the allocation of money for uniforms for all students. Earlier pre-primary students were excluded and boys of general category were too. But now all students have been included for provision of uniforms. It would have been better if uniform allocation was also increased from Rs 600 (for summer/winter year around uniform) to more.”

Jalandhar-based teacher Ganesh Bhagat, general secretary of the Government School Teachers’ Union, said, “We welcome the increased allocations for the total Budget itself and the midday meal. However, the main grievance was no mention of the restoration of old pension scheme and no elaboration about the 36,000 contractual employees to be hired. The government promises their recruitment. But what category are these, how many are teachers? Also many more posts are already vacant in schools.”

Teachers of the meritorious school resented the lack of even a mention of the meritorious school scheme in the budget.

Jatinder Pal Singh, a teacher at the meritorious school in Jalandhar, said, “Meritorious schools haven’t even been mentioned in the budget. Nor is there a mention of their long pending demand for regularisation. This by far the most prestigious school for meritorious students in government schools. There is no mention of any infrastructural upgrades or any new allocations for these schools which is extremely disheartening for all of us, teachers of meritorious schools.”

Tribune Shorts


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