Chandigarh Welfare Trust launches ‘Shikshit Sheher, Viksit Sheher’ campaign to help city students affected by Covid-19 pandemic

The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, June 18

In order to make up for the losses faced by students due to breakout of Covid-19 in last two years, besides providing them with vocational skill training and right career guidance, the Chandigarh Welfare Trust today launched a special campaign under the banner of ‘Shikshit Sheher, Viksit Sheher’.

The campaign which kickstarted from Government Model Senior Secondary School at Dadumajra Colony in Sector 38-West by CWT chief patron, Satnam Singh Sandhu and School Principal, Binoy Kumar Bhattacharjee, also focuses on preventing the dropouts from schools, enhancing the Gross Enrolment Ratio and faculty development.

Speaking on the occasion, Satnam Singh Sandhu said, “One of the biggest impacts of Covid-19 was the effect it had on the education of children and the young generation, which will decide the future of the country. The financially vulnerable parents had to retract their wards due to uncertainties at their workplace while the poor were hit by their inability to afford online education, thus leaving a grave impact.”

Quoting a report of All India Parents Association (AIPA), he informed that about 30 per cent students of government schools had to drop out of school during Covid-19 across the country for one reason or the other.

“As per the latest figures revealed by the project approval board (PAB) of Union Ministry of Human Resource Development Department, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) has decreased in Chandigarh schools, at every academic level. The GER has fallen down from 89.29% last year to 86.92% this year at Primary level, from 102.17% last year to 99.33% this year at Upper Primary level, from 94.16% last year to 91.61% this year at Elementary level, from 92.71% last year to 87.55% this year at Secondary level and from 83.79% last year to 78.03% this year at Senior Secondary level. This is a worrying development and needs to be paid immediate attention to,” asserted Sandhu.

He added that the pandemic has affected even the reserved seats in schools with 44 seats remaining vacant in 2019-20, 66 in 2020-21 and 99 in 2021-22, while sliding to second position in the latest Performance Grading Index (PGI), after leading the country for two years in a row.

Sandhu said that while online mode was adopted by the educational institutions, the very essence of school education, especially in the context of classroom environment and laboratory learning was missing. In order to help such students and to make up for the losses borne by them in terms of education due to Covid-19, we have launched this initiative, he added.

Sandhu informed that under the initiative, CWT will teach such students in government schools, besides providing them with career counselling and vocational skills training.

“This mission which started today at Government Model Senior Secondary School at Dadumajra Colony in Sector 38-West will continue in all government schools of Chandigarh. Our volunteers will teach the students of class 9th-10th in English, Science, Hindi and Mathematics, while the students of class 11th-12th will be taught Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Political Science, Public Administration, History, Geography and English,” he said.

The students will be provided the career counselling services by our volunteers after 10th, 11th and 12th class to help them choose the best stream for their further education and career whereas our trainers will also train the teachers so that the students always have a career counselor available in their schools, he added.

Speaking of the future plans of the CWT, Sandhu said that efforts will be made to bring down the dropout rate among the students, besides to bring children who never enrolled, to schools.

“According to Child Mapping Survey Report, Chandigarh has 3160 Dropout students while 3282 children were never enrolled into the schools. Our focus is to work for their education, while also providing vocational skill training to them for alternative career paths,” he said.

The CWT will also run faculty development programs as well as certification courses for the faculty of these schools, he added.Speaking on the occasion, Binoy Kumar Bhattacharjee appreciated the efforts of CWT saying that it is working to ensure that every single child in the union territory is educated and empowered.

“The CWT is truly sensitive to the development and requirements of Chandigarh and its residents. After their momentous efforts in the field of health and environment protection, the CWT has now taken to the field of education by providing the manpower to government schools in terms of teachers and trainers, thus ensuring a richer learning experience for the students, especially those affected the most by the Covid-19,” he added.