JALANDHAR MAY 28:The Punjab Government today signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding in school education with the University of Wolverhampton (U.K.). Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal presided over the function where the MoU was signed.
The MoU was signed by Secretary Education Punjab Mr. KBS Sidhu and Ms. Caroline Gipps, Vice-Chancellor of Wolverhampton University on behalf of the Punjab Government and the UK based University respectively.
Separately, two more agreements were signed, one between Wolverhampton Football Club and the JCT Football Academy, Hoshiarpur and another between Wolverhampton Chamber of Commerce and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to develop bilateral trade and Commerce activities and strengthening trade links through new marketing opportunities. The U K delegation comprised Mr. Terry Wood, Head of International Trade for the UK and Mr. Steven Catchpole, Chief Executive Wolverhampton Development Company.
Giving details, CM’s Media Advisor, Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the main aim of the MoU on education was to increase the interflow of educational skills between Punjab and the UK through a teacher-training programme. Under this arrangement, the government school teachers in Punjab would be imparted special academic training by the UK teachers for raising their teaching skills in general and in English language in particular. In the first phase of this programme, 40 teachers of English from Punjab had been selected for training. These teachers, in turn, would further impart training to other teachers in the state, said Mr. Bains.
Taking part in the deliberations, Mr. Badal said that the English language had emerged as the International language, in academic as well as in business arenas. Without appropriate skills to read, write and speak good English, students and youth from Punjab may not be competitive on a global basis, irrespective of their professional and technical knowledge, talent and training, said Mr. Badal, adding that this however would not be done at the expense of our mother tongue, Punjabi. "There is no contradiction between being rooted in our local culture and language on the one hand and improving our proficiency in a widely used international languages like English on the other. In fact, the two are complementary," said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister further said that the state had already implemented the teaching of English as a compulsory subject right from Class 1 to 10th in all the Government Schools. The private schools too had followed suit, "We have already finalized the recruitment of 1000 trained teachers of English for the first time. Earlier, English to the students was being taught by Social Study teachers. The newly appointed teachers would be in position before the Schools re-open after the summer vacation in July," said the Chief Minister.
Mr. Badal urged both Mr. Mac Fadden and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton to strengthen this project so that such training courses could be run at other regional centers in Punjab. He said that approximately 30% of the Indian students in the British Universities and Colleges hail from Punjab and the conduct of such programmes would also provide the University of Wolverhampton an opportunity to reach out to its prospective students from Punjab, who might be exploring the possibilities of higher studies abroad.