We cannot underestimate the importance of school. School is the basic foundation of knowledge being imparted to a child. Students are exposed to the knowledge. It plays an important role in societal growth and progress. Well-educated citizens contribute to the betterment of society. A school should provide a balanced education, which helps to promote a child’s psychological and mental growth.
Updating the curriculum
The Punjab government has taken a lot of initiatives to make the performance of the school better. They have improved education and the employer’s job security. They have taken care of the curriculum, which was never updated and had no relevance with the current times. Murad Raas, Provincial Minister of Punjab for School Education, said, “We saw how the private sector has praised our books. You can see that old books never got updated. For the first time, we have updated books that are updated and will be updated every year. It will not be like that if once a book has been published and made available, it’s going to stay like this for the next 10 years. No. For the first time, the Curriculum Board is going to update the Punjab Curriculum Textbook Board every year. We have made everyone a part of it. Suggestions will be taken from everyone. We have done this before also, making changes along the way. It’s a continuous process. The world is moving at a fast pace and we have to move along. We will make every sect and religion a part of the updated text.”
Teachers are being trained. Smart technology, like tablets or iPads, is introduced to enable quality learning. Murad Ras said, “Introducing tablets and iPads in schools comes at a great expense. It’s a huge expense. When we ventured into digitization, we aimed at making the life of a teacher easier. Their transfers, ACRs, and leaves. Now their promotions and retirements plans all are online. We made their life easy so that the reason they’re hired, they should focus on that. When COVID happened, ours was the first department that quickly transitioned teacher training to online. We got 400,000 Microsoft licenses for this training. This has never happened before. Previously, this training happened over a casual lunch, etc. Now, these licensed trainings are monitored.”
Policies introduced to benefit schools
They have introduced policies to facilitate the teachers. Murad Raas said, “Regarding education, we have policies, not laws. The directions and initiatives that were taken regarding school education were the ones that were needed right away. Public sector education has been ignored a great deal in the past 20 to 30 years. A broken education system was handed over to us when we took command. If the teacher has substance, then the quality of education has substance. So our focus was on strengthening the teachers and then the textbooks, the focus being on Single National Curriculum. We constructed 15,000 early education classrooms. This was never done before. We constructed 1,000 Information Technology laboratories in schools and 1,000 science labs.”
Councils established to enhance school performance
School Education Department (SED) Punjab issues a notification for the establishment of a council. That council will comprise seven members. The council will be headed by the respective school principals. The division is:
- One member from District Education Authority (DEA)
- One member by the Secretary of Education
- Two teachers
- One educationist
- One parent
Initially, this council will work for two years and there would be monthly meetings to address the issues faced by the students. Parents’ complaints will also be filed. The council will also manage the budget for curricular and non-curricular activities. SED Punjab has ordered the public and private schools to follow the latest directives. In case of non-compliance, registration of private schools will be canceled.
This initiative is going to improve the quality of both private and public schools. A good education is the right of all human beings.