Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday announced free education for girls from nursery to the doctorate level in government institutions of Punjab. He was speaking in the Vidhan Sabha.
Also, a spokesman said the government will introduce free textbooks to all students of government schools, and will introduce pre-primary classes (nursery and LKG) in government schools from the next academic session as part of the reforms it has initiated in the state, which will also see free internet service in 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.
Amarinder said his government would accord the highest priority to school education and, notwithstanding the constraint of resources, seek to increase budgetary support to the education sector, with five new colleges to be set up in the current financial year.
Pointing out that his government had inherited a virtually collapsed system of school education, the CM expressed concern at the split in the society into haves and have-nots, with children of a favoured few getting good school education and opportunity to study in top institutions and the others being left with poor educational grounding.
As part of the government initiatives to improve the education scenario, textbooks will be posted online, thus enabling students and parents to download these free of cost, the CM said.
English as the medium of instruction will be offered as an option in government schools. On a pilot basis, English medium will be started in atleast two primary, middle, high and senior secondary schools in each educational block from July onwards.
The government also proposes to set up two new Sainik Schools in Gurdaspur and Mansa, and another institute on the lines of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Mohali, to train youth to join the armed forces.