More than 10,000 private schools affiliated to Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) are expected to fund the DTH lectures. The Punjab Education Board has ordered these schools to contribute an annual amount to pay for the broadcast of online lectures.
DTH lectures are broadcasted on Doordarshan
As a part of its initiative, the state board has prepared lectures on Direct-to-Home (DTH) format on Doordarshan Channel. The one-time contributing amount demanded from schools can be upto Rs 8,400. The amount depends upon the level of education offered.
“The education department is broadcasting lectures from 9 AM to 4 PM. We charge Rs 2,800 for 30 minutes. As they are our major customers we give them one hour for free,” says Puneet Sehgal, Programme Head, Doordarshan.
Meeting the Leaning crisis during COVID pandemic
The order, issued on July 28, 2020, demands varied contributing amount from schools:
- Senior Secondary Schools: Rs 8,400
- High Schools: Rs 6,000
- Middle Schools: Rs 2,400
- Primary Schools: Rs 1,200
The amount has to be deposited in a single installment. “Punjab is struggling with economic and social crisis due to covid-19 pandemic. The study of children is being affected due to closure of schools. Therefore, lectures related to syllabus of all classes of the PSEB will be broadcast by education department. So, the decision of taking contribution money in one go from these schools was taken in a meeting held on May 15 by board,” reads the official order.
DTH lectures are for both private and government schools
“The syllabus of affiliated schools is the same as government schools. We have, therefore, extended the service for them too. It’s just a minimal amount,” said Mohammad Tayyab, PSEB Secretary and Punjab Director General School Education.
Patiala DEO Harinder Kaur agreed, “We are broadcasting lectures on DTH. Every student can avail this service whether he is studying in private or government schools.”
School Leaders and Teachers are Unhappy
“We never asked the Punjab government to broadcast lectures on a DTH channel. State government has announced that it will not collect any fee from government school students. Now, to meet their expenses, they are forcing us to pay,” said Jatinder Singh Narula, President, Affiliated Schools Welfare Association, Patiala in a media statement.
Ravinder Singh Mann, President, Recognised and Affiliated Schools Association, Punjab, avers, “We are not ready to pay. We will try to reason with the government first. If this fails, we will move court. The government cannot take such major decisions without our participation.”
“Practically it’s not possible to provide education to students via broadcasting lecture on DTH. The majority just stays away, only the few intelligent ones attend this lecture,” opines Hardeep Todarpur, a teacher of Government Senior Secondary School, Kakrala