Punjab to penalise schools not teaching Punjabi

Chandigarh, May 31 (IANS) Cracking the whip, the Punjab government Monday said it would penalise schools in the state which have so far failed to make Punjabi language a compulsory subject.

State Education Minister Upinderjit Kaur said Punjabi language had been made a compulsory subject in schools of the state under the Punjab, Punjabi and Learning of Other Languages Act, 2008 but the educational institutions had failed to follow the law.

‘Findings of reports of various district education and language officers are very shocking. They show that some private schools, including few central, defence and Navodya Vidyalayas are not implementing the Punjabi language as a compulsory subject from Classes 1 to 10. This is made compulsory under the Punjab, Punjabi and Learning of Other Languages Act, 2008,’ she said.

‘These schools are also found accountable for flouting the Punjabi Language Act, 2008 for avoiding the use of Punjabi language in their official work.’

Kaur said she directed the officials to issue strict warnings to erring institutions and ask them to make Punjabi language compulsory within the next 15 days else the government would take stern actions against these schools.

‘Under prevailing circumstances, we can withdraw the No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued to the schools, impose fine of up to Rs.200,000 and can initiate proceedings under the Punjab Civil Service Rules against the employees who are not using Punjabi language for official work,’ she added.