Opposition slams Bhagwant Mann for official visit to Delhi to study ‘Delhi model’ in education, health sector

An office bearer of Punjab Meritorious School Teachers’ Unions said Punjab already has best schools staffed with good teachers, but these premier education institutions were being ignored by govt

File photo of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann
File photo of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann

Bipin Bhardwaj

Rather setting his own house in order, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann seems to be allured with the tall claims made by Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on the so-called ‘Delhi model’ of education and health institutions.

Ignoring the state-run 10 meritorious schools run by Punjab govt in different districts of Punjab – including Bathinda, Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Mohali, Sangrur, Firozepur, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur – which are imparting quality and standard education to the students, Mann along with his education and Health ministers on Monday visited certain selected government schools, Mohalla Clinics and hospitals in Delhi.

Interestingly, the Punjab CM and his cabinet colleagues were also accompanied by AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, Punjab Chief Secretary and other senior officials.

An office bearer of the Punjab Meritorious School Teachers’ Unions, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that Punjab already has the best schools staffed with the best teachers, but these premier education institutions were being ignored by the state govt.

“These schools have been providing quality education and career guidance to brilliant students, a majority of whom belong to poor sections of the society. Many pass-out students have excelled in their lives and are in various professions like doctors, engineers, chartered accountants and even in administrative services,” he claimed.

The association had requested the Punjab CM to visit these schools and take a stock of the reality including the fact that many teachers are serving on contractual basis.

Mann, who is on a two-day visit to Delhi along with his senior officers, toured health institutes and schools in the national capital ostensibly to understand the "Delhi model" and replicate it in Punjab.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia accompanied him to a Delhi government school in Chirag Enclave.

Mann claimed that the Punjab government will replicate Delhi's ‘education model’ in the state where students from all economic backgrounds will get quality education.

Taking a dig at AAP, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu tweeted : “2 day Delhi visit is a deviation from real issues, mere photo op for benefit in other elections & waste of state exchequer. Pb needs polity to get out of the Financial, Farmers and Power crisis. Local problems need local solutions. Solution lies in income generation.”

Attacking Mann over his scheduled visit to government schools and health institutions in Delhi, Akali leader and former education minister Dr. Daljeet Singh Cheema has advised him to first understand the situation in Punjab schools before taking tours of other states' schools.

He said, "Before planning a tour to study the Delhi model of education, Bhagwant Mann should have toured his own schools first to understand their strengths and weaknesses".

Meanwhile, Kerala Education Minister has questioned the claims made by the AAP that "Kerala officials" visited the national capital to understand and implement the Delhi education model.

"It was wonderful to host officials from Kerala at one of our schools in Kalkaji. They were keen to understand and implement our education model in their state. This is @ArvindKejriwal Govt's idea of nation building. Development through collaboration," AAP Delhi MLA Atishi, who is Delhi government's Education Committee Chairperson, had tweeted last week along with pictures from the event with the said officials on Saturday.

Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty's responded a day later on his Twitter handle: "Kerala's Dept of Education has not sent anyone to learn about the 'Delhi Model'. At the same time, all assistance was provided to officials who had visited from Delhi to study the 'Kerala Model' last month. We would like to know which 'officials' were welcomed by the AAP MLA."

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