Days after Punjab Education Minister Pargat Singh dared his Delhi counterpart Manish Sisodia to bare it all on school education in the national capital, the AAP leader made a surprise visit to two schools in the border state and dubbed their condition as “pathetic”. Reacting to Singh's Monday challenge to provide a list of 250 Delhi government schools along with their various key parameters for their comparison with the state's schools on the NPGI scale, Sisodia instead visited two schools in Punjab's Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's assembly constituency Chamkaur Sahib.
Its toilet is stinking and classrooms are infested with spider webs and stuffed with broken furniture, Sisodia claimed, standing outside a school in Makrona Kalan village under Chamkaur Sahib constituency. Along with AAP's workers, Sisodia also visited another government primary school in Chaklan village under the CM's constituency.
“I am in Punjab chief minister's constituency and in his village,” Sisodia told reporters, adding this school from nursery till class 5 in Makrona Kalan has only one teacher, working on a salary of just Rs 6,000 a month. Besides, there is an assistant working in this school, he added. “This is the condition of a school in Channi's constituency. If we call it a number one school, it is a joke with children,” he said.
The bare-it-all spat on school education between the two states had begun last week on Thursday after Sisodia proposed joint visits to ten schools each in Delhi and Punjab for their comparison. Reacting to Sisodia's proposal, Punjab Education Minister Pargat Singh had asked him why to compare only ten schools and sought a list of 250 Delhi government schools for their comparison. And when Sisodia released a list of 250 Delhi schools with their locations, Singh had pointed out on Monday that he had demanded not only the locations but various other key parameters of schools also, including the numbers of students and teachers in them and their pass percentages, for their comparison on the National Performance Grading Index, 2021.
Scaling up the inter-state spat on the school education, Sisodia on Wednesday made a surprise visit to the two Punjab schools in CM Channi's constituency. Replying to a question on his original demand for names of ten schools in Punjab for joint visits, Sisodia told reporters he understood well Pargat Singh's “compulsion”.
“Given the condition of these schools, how could have he (Singh) given the list. I can very well understand Singh's compulsion,” said Sisodia. He said the Punjab CM and his education minister had been claiming that Punjab's schools were the best in the country. “But there has been no response from the state government on providing a list of 250 schools for comparison with that of the national capital,” said Sisodia.
“I thought when the CM is claiming that Punjab schools were number one, the schools in his constituency will also be number one. But such schools where toilets are stinking and where there is only one teacher for teaching six-seven classes, how can these schools be called number one?” he asked. Sisodia appealed to the people to give AAP one chance in the coming assembly elections, seeking to assure them that if voted to power in Punjab, AAP will make the schools here “as good as they are in Delhi”.
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