Lashing out at the poor state of government-run schools in Gujarat, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday promised free and quality education in the poll-bound state. After attending a town hall meeting at Bhuj, Kejriwal told reporters that if the AAP government is elected to power in Gujarat, the children of the state would experience the best teaching experience in India, that too for free.
“Today we’ve given a guarantee to improve the quality of education in Gujarat. Conditions of govt schools are not good. We’ll give good & free education. We’ll build best govt schools and make temporary teachers permanent,” said Kejriwal.
While promising to improve the existing infrastructure in the state government-run schools, Kejriwal stated that his party would ensure the launch of several other schools across the state if voted to power.
“All those born in Gujarat will get free and quality education. We will not force anybody. If parents have money, they can send their kids to private schools. But if they do not have money, we will not let the lack of money come in the way of good education for their kids. We will provide them best education for free,” he said while addressing the town hall.
Citing Delhi’s example, Kejriwal said that after auditing the schools, “extra money” would be returned to the parents if his party comes to power. The other takeaway from his town hall meeting was his appeal to provide quality teachers by regularising the services of existing part-time teachers and turning them into full-time teachers in a bid to offer job security. He said he will also ensure that the teaching staff is not burdened with non-teaching duties.
Apart from promising new employment opportunities in the education sector, Kejriwal said that his main focus will also be to ensure the improvement in higher education facilities for women across the state and to address problems faced by “Vidya Sahayaks” (education assistants).
With barely four months to go for the state assembly polls, Kejriwal has tried to win over the masses by leveraging his campaign around electricity, jobs and unemployment allowance among many others.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal asked the ruling BJP party in the state and at the Centre to refrain from using the term “freebies” when it came to free healthcare and education. “We are ready to work with the Centre to improve health services and education. I also request Centre to stop calling them freebies,” Kejriwal said at a virtual press conference.