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Punjab mulls district cadre for teachers

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

To end shortage of teachers in rural areas, Punjab government is mulling the creation of district cadres for teachers. The Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh said this district cadres for teachers would ensure that they remain posted in the same area, thus leading to social pressures on them to perform. As generally most teachers prefer posting in urban areas, state’s government schools in rural areas face huge shortage of teachers.
Amarinder said this during discussions with researchers and professors of the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) on a range of issues, including education and skill development, raising farm incomes and crop diversification.

He said the state government is trying to involve corporates in a big way to boost the standard of education in the state through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. Expressing concern over the challenges in education in the state, especially in rural areas, the CM underlined the need to take up its upgradation on top priority.The government was exploring various avenues to raise the quality of both, school and higher education, and also to empower youngsters with the necessary skills to make them gainfully employable, said Amarinder.

The state government was planning to use Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) as skill centres after their closing time at 5 p.m. to provide state-wide skill development facilities to youth, the CM said listing it as one of the ways in which the available resources were being optimized to maximise benefit, in view of the constrained fiscal condition of the state.

CRRID, on its part, suggested an employment policy to enable the state government to intervene in matters related to employment. Pointing out that Punjab was giving the maximum loan waiver despite the financial problems faced by the government which was preventing it from waiving off all loans, Amarinder said while crop diversification was the key to resolving the agrarian crisis, the depleting water levels were a serious hurdle.

Underscoring the need for the Central Government to support the state’s efforts to save the farmers, Amarinder said while the suggestion of Union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari to go in for corn/maize-based ethanol was good, the problem was that the state did not have sufficient funds to extend the support price to the same. The Center should send companies that are interested in converting corn/maize to ethanol, he stressed.