New Education Policy “hinders” literacy

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The Provincial Education Department has formally issued a notification announcing the commencement of the new academic year session 2024-25 from April 1 for all government schools. Simultaneously, an inflation bomb has been dropped on the parents of students as a new admission policy has been introduced, which restricted admission for a significant number of students in government schools.

Cutting down on admission quotas may prove detrimental to school-aged children

The Education Department has directed that only 4 percent of new students from class one to class nine should be admitted in all government schools this year. Additionally, the supply of free textbooks in government schools, a long standing incentive, will be curtailed as the education department has ordered the establishment of a textbook bank in every government  school. Under this policy, old textbooks will be collected from graduated students and redistributed free of charge to new students. This leads to concerns about availability of complete textbooks and its impact on the teaching system. With around students of 47000 government schools being affected by new policy, even the teachers organizations have rejected it, terming it as detrimental to education. The Central Secretary General of Punjab Teachers Union has expressed concern over the reduction in new admissions this year citing potential implications for out-of-school street children, which have increased to more than 27 million in Punjab.

The Central Secretary of Punjab SES Teachers Association, Muhammad Shafiq Bhalwalia, confirmed the notification to start the new academic session from April 1 and acknowledged difficulties in receiving textbooks from students. Meanwhile annual examinations from class one to eight have been completed in all government schools, with results set to be announced on Monday, March 31. The new academic year will commence from April 1. New admissions for classes one to eight have started in government schools this week. The admissions phase has been divided into two phases: running from March 31. The new academic year will commence from April 1.  New admissions for classes one to eight have started in government schools this week. The admissions phase has been divided into two phases: running from March 20 to May 31 and then from August 15 to October 31.  The expected decline in admissions, the end of free books, and the potential increase in fees may lead to a deterioration in the teaching system of government schools from April 1 prompting parents to consider alternatives such a small private schools due to rising living costs.

News Published in the Express Tribune on 31st March 2024

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