IEP Amritsar, March 15
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday envisioned that the G-20 summit will prove to be a healthy platform for seeking vital inputs of expert nations to boost the education sector across the globe in general and state in particular thereby immensely benefiting the youth. The Chief Minister, while addressing the gathering during second meeting of Education Working group of G-20 here today, said that he ardently believes that the deliberations in this summit will not only uplift the standard of education but will also benefit the youth of the state immensely. He expressed hope that the strenuous efforts of the G-20 in addressing major issues related to the global economy will give a major fillip to the economic growth of the country in general and that of the state in particular. Bhagwant Mann also lauded the concerted efforts being made by G-20 for promoting an environment of peace, understanding and international cooperation. Highlighting the landmark initiatives taken by the state government in field of education to share that in consonance with the ideology of Baba Sahib Dr BR Ambedkar, the chief architect of Indian constitution, who once said that ‘Knowledge is the basis of human life’, state government is according top priority to the education sector. He said that the state government believes that ‘Health’ and ‘Education’ form bedrock for human and social development and stands committed to strengthen and expand these two critical sectors. Bhagwant Mann said that the state government has proposed an outlay of Rs 17,072 crore for school and Higher education in the coming fiscal year. The Chief Minister said that budget of Rs 200 crore has been kept for up-gradation of the schools into the school of eminence. He said that these world class 117 schools of eminence will ensure holistic development of the students. Bhagwant Mann said that these schools will cater to the students of classes IX to XII and are being built on five pillars of support and strength i.e. Infrastructure, Academics, Human Resource Management, Sports & Co-curricular Activities and Community Engagement. The Chief Minister said that apart from this, these schools will create opportunities to nurture individual ability and skills valuable for higher education, employment, training and others. He said that these schools will focus on grooming students for five professional and competitive courses including engineering, law, commerce, UPSC and NDA. Bhagwant Mann said that the state government remains committed to uplift Education in the State. The Chief Minister said that in order to ensure that the environment of schools is conducive to improved levels of education for the students of Government schools, a budget of Rs.141.14 crore has been approved. He said that it will ensure that the work of cleanliness, protection of properties and management in the school is carried out effectively by Campus Managers allowing Principals of schools to focus on their administrative and academic duties. Bhagwant Mann said that an International Education Affairs Cell (IEAC) has been established to provide world class training to teachers, school heads and educational administrators working at different levels in the School Education Department. Underscoring the need for knowledge sharing, the Chief Minister said that it can act as a catalyst for the overall development of the students. He said that his government is already focusing on enhancing the knowledge sharing agreement between the students from state and other countries. Bhagwant Mann said that it is the need of hour to ensure that the students become partners of the socio economic growth of the world. The Chief Minister said that the state government has sent batches of trainees consisting of 66 Principals/Education officers have been sent to Principals Academy, Singapore for upscaling their expertise. He said that on their return these teachers will share the foreign practices with students and their colleagues thereby ensuring that students get acquainted with the pattern of study on foreign shores so that they are able to compete with their peers educated abroad. Bhagwant Mann said that this is a revolutionary step which will rejuvenate the entire education system of the state for the well being of students by bringing the much needed qualitative change in the education system of the state. The Chief Minister said that sole criteria to choose these teachers for training are merit so as to ensure that they play a vanguard role in education reform. He said that the single aim of all these efforts is to reverse the trend of brain drain by making youth an active partner of socio- economic growth of the state adding that this path breaking initiative will prove to be a milestone for reforming the education system in the state. Bhagwant Mann said that in another landmark initiative the state government has set up, the “Punjab Sikhya-te-Sehat Fund” that will act as a catalyst to transform education and health sectors by active participation of NRI brethren. The Chief Minister said that this summit will go a long way in sensitizing the governments by highlighting the issues and problems concerning the populace across the globe. He also said that the Government of India really deserves an accolade for holding this mega event on this land of great Gurus, saints and seers. Bhagwant Mann said that it is his proud privilege and honour to be here to welcome galaxy of eminent personalities representing their respective countries. The Chief Minister profusely thanked the Government of India (GOI) for choosing this holy city to organize two sessions on Education and Labour. He said that his is a sacred city, which is deeply revered by one and all in the annals of history, where devotees from all over the world pay homage to seek peace and solace. Bhagwant Mann recalled that this holy city was once the prominent center of trade and commercial activity in the country in pre-partition days adding that the state government is making strenuous efforts to again develop Amritsar as the trade hub as several national and international companies of excellence and repute have evinced keen interest to set up their ventures in the holy city. The Chief Minister also said that since time immemorial Punjab has been a cradle of civilization and culture adding that the hardworking and brave Punjabis had closely witnessed numerous pages of history unfolding on this sacred land of five years. He said that the state of Punjab has a successful growth story for ushering in the green revolution in mid 1960s followed by rapid industrialization in terms of Hosiery, Hand tools, Sports, Auto-parts, Agriculture implements, Rubber and others. Bhagwant Mann also said that besides being the nation’s food bowl, Punjab also has a distinction of being the sword arm of the country and its people are well known all over the world for their courage, resilience and spirit of enterprise. The Chief Minister expressed hope that the delegates will have a comfortable stay in the city during the summit and they will enjoy the warm hospitality of the state. He said that during their stay the delegates will take along with them the vivid memories of their visit to Punjab. Bhagwant Mann also wished successful accomplishment of the summit to the participating delegates.