Badals Adarsh schools project is 'old wine in old bottle'

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Chandigarh, Nov 21 (UNI) Reacting to the proposal of the Punjab Government to set up Adarsh schools for the 'intelligent and poor students', the state Congress said that the policy was "proof of an 'old wine in an old bottle' failed thought process of a beleaguered Chief Minister".

Throughout his 40 years of political life Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has been trying to implement certain ideas that had failed in his earlier tenures, such as focal points, Sangat Darshan's and Adarsh Schools, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal said here today.

Talking to mediapersons, she pointed out that nine Adarsh schools had been set up by Mr Badal in the year 1979 and there are about 4000 students in these schools. The infrastructure, teaching staff and other facilities in these schools are no better than the present Government Schools, she claimed.

Later reacting to the Congress viewpoint, Mr Badal said that his government would go ahead with its policy to provide quality education to the poor and intelligent students. The government had already released Rs 132 crore as first installment for the Adarsh schools, he added at a media briefing.

" We will make the Adarsh schools as polished as Mrs Bhattal", he said in lighter vein.

The propopsal of setting up 141 Adarsh schools, one in each block of the State was approved by the Council of Ministers in its meeting in September. It proposes to spend about Rs five crore on each school, apart from the land cost under Private-Public Partnership (PPP).

According to statistical details collected by Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khera, the land required would be 10-15 acres for each school which is to be donated free of cost by the village Panchayats. Going by these estimates the Government proposes to spend about Rs 750 crore on building and infrastructure and the cost of land to be acquired would be around Rs 250 crore.

The whole project of Adarsh schools would cost the public exchequer to the tune of Rs 1000 crore, Mr Khera who was present at the press conference claimed.

Instead of spending Rs 1000 crore on building 141 Adarsh schools, where according to the proposal about 1,41,000 students would be imparted education, it would be logical to improve the existing dilapidated system of education in the state, Mrs Bhattal said. She pointed out that presently there are 18,379 government schools in the state with approximately 34 lakh students.

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