Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday strongly condemned the decision of the Punjab government “to deploy heavy police force inside schools “for the implementation of the ‘Padho Punjab Padhao Punjab’ programme.
“This has vitiated the pious and peaceful environment of the schools and created a fear psychosis among the minds of innocent children. In addition, the government is insulting the teachers in the presence of students,” former Punjab Education Minister and SAD Senior Vice President Daljit Singh Cheema said here in a statement.
“This action is highly shameful and a disgrace for the whole society,” the statement further said.
He said that instead of issuing “such dictatorial orders”, the education department must prepare the teachers psychologically with systematic professional training in a dignified manner.
“If the system is so good, then why the teachers are opposing it tooth and nail?” Cheema asked.
Teachers in Punjab have been on the warpath with the state government over the issue of regularisation and the salaries being offered to them.
The ‘Padho Punjab Padhao Punjab’ project aims to instill correct and accurate pronunciation techniques of the mother-tongue ‘Punjabi’ in students of government schools.
Initiated by the Punjab School Education Department, under this project, primary schools’ teachers are being trained through a special training workshop here so that they could teach the students how to speak and write standardise the Punjabi language.
The teachers are opposing this project saying that they have been teaching students for the past many years and the new methodology is being forced on them.
Cheema said: “Never in the history of a democratic India has it happened that teachers are being slapped and pushed around in the premises of schools creating havoc in their minds.”
He said that the SAD stood by the schools’ teachers and the party condemned the autocratic style of the state government to implement the methodology in schools where the entire teacher fraternity in a cohesive voice has objected to that system.
Cheema urged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to intervene in the matter and direct the state education department to withdraw its orders. He also demanded a high-level inquiry into this whole episode.