Chandigarh: Ridiculing the Delhi deputy CM’s atrocious allegation of a political conspiracy of the Centre and the Punjab government in the matter of school education ranking, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday termed it a clear case of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) crying foul in the face of its imminent wipeout from Punjab in the 2022 Assembly polls.
In a hard-hitting reaction to Manisha Sisodia’s allegation of a ‘secret pact’ between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and him (Captain Amarinder), the Chief Minister said the AAP leadership was so obsessed with electoral politics that it saw poll conspiracies even in something as basic as school education.
The fact was that AAP, which had failed to make a dent in Punjab’s political arena over the past over 4 years, beginning with its poor performance in the 2017 elections, could see the rout which it was facing in 2022, he added.
“Come to Punjab and I will show you around our schools,” said Captain Amarinder to Sisodia, adding that the revamp of the state’s schools was an exercise undertaken by his government as a top priority, and the Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20 released by the Union Education Minister recently reflected the success of those efforts.
“If you are really interested in improving the education system of Delhi, maybe you should do a jugalbandi with me, and I will teach you how to manage things better,” the Punjab Chief Minister said, in a derisive response to Sisodia’s charge of `jugalbandi’ between PM Modi and him (Captain Amarinder).
From a ranking of 22 on the earlier index that was in place when he took over as Chief Minister, to Number 1 on PGI scale, Punjab’s school education has undergone a massive transformation, said Captain Amarinder.
“Your political dialogues cannot undermine this success,” he said, terming Sisodia’s comments as an obvious case of “sour grapes’ since Delhi-NCR had scored a poor 6th ranking in the list.
Expressing shock at the AAP leader’s shameful attempt to give a political colour to the excellent outcomes of the hard work and commitment of thousands of school teachers, administrators, education officials etc, Captain Amarinder said it was evident that Arvind Kejriwal’s party was used to seeing everything from the telescope of politics. Little wonder then that Delhi continued to be deprived of even basic amenities like education, health, safe drinking water even after six years of Kejriwal rule, he quipped.
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Pointing to the sad and sorry spectacle of people gasping for breath at the peak of the second surge of Covid-19 in Delhi, the Punjab Chief Minister said the much-touted Kejriwal model of governance was nothing but a hype created by the media, which was benefitting from the massive advertising budgets of the AAP government in the national capital.
From the highly publicized Mohalla clinics to the school education system, the entire model of the Delhi government had been thoroughly exposed for nothing more than a hollow claim being perpetuated by AAP’s media and social media machinery, he said. Kejriwal was so busy promoting his image that he seemed to have forgotten to make any investments on the ground, said Captain Amarinder.
The Punjab Chief Minister said his government had, in contrast, invested in the development of key sectors like education and health in a consistent manner over the past four years. As many as 14000 schools had been converted into smart schools, as part of a focused strategy, comprising
Launch of pre-primary education, best-in-class digital education infrastructure, innovative teaching methods, administrative reforms, transparency in recruitment and transfer of teachers, etc. Increase in government school enrolment and extraordinary improvement in results were a clear reflection of the success of these measures, he added.
Punjab has topped all the states and UTs by securing 929 marks out of 1000 in the 70 parameters laid down by the Union Government in the PGI ranking. Punjab got cent per cent points (150/150) in the domain of infrastructure and facilities, which included availability of classrooms, labs, toilets, drinking water, and libraries.
Punjab has also performed very well in equity (228/230) and access (79/80) domains, comprising inclusion of children from weaker sections in the mainstream, appliances to the special children, enrolment ratio, retention rate, transmission rate and availability of schools.