Poor Class X results spur Punjab CM Amarinder Singh into action2 min read . Updated: 24 May 2017, 05:16 AM IST
Amarinder Singh orders a special financial package after the Punjab class 10 board results for 2017 showed only 57.5% of candidates cleared the exam
New Delhi: A day after the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) examination results for Class 10 showed a failure rate of more than 42%, chief minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday promised financial and policy support to improve the education system.
Holding the education department and the school board responsible for the development, Singh asked the finance department to bring out a special financial package to improve the education system and asked the education minister to prepare a blueprint for improvement in a time-bound manner.
Singh said poor education levels are denying meaningful employment for youth and the examination results show how many youngsters are not eligible to apply for even army jobs.
Singh is a former soldier and the state has been a formidable recruiting ground for the army.
According to the school board, some 57.5% of candidates who appeared for the examination managed to clear it, a sharp drop from 72.25% in 2016. In 2017, some 330,437 appeared for the exam, of which 190,000 managed to clear it.
The school board while announcing the results on Monday had said that it’s satisfied with the numbers.
Singh has taken an “extremely serious view of the poor Class X Board exam results", a state government spokesperson said. He said Singh has issued “strict instructions to the education minister to prepare a blueprint" for enhancing the education standard and to “equip Punjab students to compete in the market for jobs and career progression".
The spokesperson said Singh is “dismayed" at the failure rate and asked the finance department to “make available all necessary funds to the education department for undertaking urgent measures to improve the quality of education and infrastructure in government schools". The department will provide the special package after the education department provides its requirement to make education a priority subject for the state government.
Over the last few years, the quality of education is deteriorating in both private and government schools in Punjab. According to the 2016 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) published by education non-profit Pratham, about 51.6% of students in the 6-14 age group in Punjab are in private schools, pointing to the dismal standards of government schools. The national average is 30%.
According to the report, while 38.3% of Class III students in Punjab were able to read a standard two-level text in 2012, in 2016 the number fell to 35.2%.
Similarly, only 58.1% of Class VIII students were able to do simple divisions in 2016, down from 63.8% in 2012 and 82.1% in 2010. The recent Class X board examination results seem to be reflecting the dwindling standards.
According to the chief minister’s office (CMO), Singh was “very disturbed at the deteriorating standards of education in Punjab", as a result of which Punjab students are “falling by the wayside in the race for good jobs and professional career growth, with most of them even failing to clear the necessary exams for getting into the armed forces."
As per the statement, the chief minister has also asked the principal secretary finance to make a “special provision in the forthcoming budget to ensure proper infrastructure … in all government schools in the state".