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Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has congratulated the School Education department for being accorded No. 1 ranking, among all the States/UTs in the Performance Grading Index (PGI), by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India (GoI) for the year 2019-20.

In his congratulatory message, Captain Amarinder Singh lauded the teachers, students and their parents for their sheer hard work and commitment for this rare honour, which has made every Punjabi proud. He said, "It is really creditable that Punjab has been adjudged as No.1 amongst all the States/Union Territories in the survey conducted by the Government of India, which reflects excellent performance of Punjab schools in achieving the parameters for transformation of school education." He hoped that all of them would further work zealously to impart quality school education in every nook and corner of the state.

The Chief Minister also highly appreciated the dedication and stewardship of Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla and the immense contribution of Secretary (School Education) Krishan Kumar for this rare feat. Captain Amarinder Singh also congratulated the officers, teaching and non-teaching employees of the School Education department for achieving the outstanding accomplishment adding he said the revamping of the school education infrastructure coupled with the firm resolve of the State Government to ensure quality education to the students contributed towards the remarkable achievement.

Pointing out further, the Chief Minister termed this achievement as a matter of great satisfaction and honour that Punjab had considerably improved its ranking status from Grade-II in 2018-19 to not only secure Grade-I++ in 2019-20 but emerge on top of the rankings table with the score of 929 out of 1000 in five domains viz. learning outcome, access, infrastructure facility, equity and governance with 70 parameters laid down by the GoI. Besides, Chandigarh, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar Islands are other four States/UTs securing a place in the top five in 2019-20 rankings.

Noting that the School Education department which has undertaken path breaking initiatives such as smart class rooms apart from distributing smart mobile phones in order to enable students to attend online classes amid Covid-19 pandemic thereby ensuring the continuity in their studies, the Chief Minister assured of all assistance to the department in all its futuristic endeavours aimed at keeping pace with the changing scenario in the sphere of education across the globe.

Notably, the Performance Grading Index was launched in 2019 with the aim to exhort the States/UTs to initiate and implement the best practices in the educational sphere with a view to ensure quality outcomes.

It may be recalled that Punjab has emerged as Role Model State for the rest of the country in terms of School Education with pioneering efforts made in launching pre-primary education, digital education, innovative teaching methodology, transparent policy for recruitment and transfer of teachers.

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