The Higher Education Minister of British Columbia Amrik Singh Virk on Saturday called on Punjab Education Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema and both agreed to initiate mutual exchange program to uplift the academic standard of education in the state. The both states also decided to launch students’ educational tour program to promote education, culture, heritage and traditions of duo states.
In a meeting held here between Dr. Cheema and Virk it was also decided that the both states would start mutual academic exchange program under which not only students of class XI and XII would visit British Columbia vis-à-vis Punjab state but teachers would also be send to both states.
Virk said that such program has become the need of the hour and Canada has already launched several program in this regard. He asked Dr. Cheema to initiate the proceedings in this regard so it could be implemented as early as possible since these steps would enable students to know the latest technologies, educational system and skills besides widening ambit of their academic knowledge.
Virk accompanied by Sandra Carroll, Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Dr. Daljit Singh Thind met Cheema and senior officers of Education Department. Discussing about the requisite level of quality education in this era of Information Technology, Dr. Cheema, informed the delegation about the reforms being taken by Education Department in Punjab including opening of residential schools for meritorious students.
Seeking cooperation from British Columbia to further give a push to ongoing efforts of state, Dr. Cheema said there was abundance of meritorious and outstanding students, who can be provided Scholarships by the province of British Columbia. He also emphasized that BC can provide free education to needy meritorious students so they can pursue their higher studies over there.
Virk assured Dr. Cheema that their government would sympathetically consider their demands and informed that their government has already decided to provide Rs. 30 lakh scholarships to the meritorious Indian students. He asked Dr. Cheema that Canada was facing scarcity of welders, plumbers, carpenters and masons and Punjab should provide such skills to educated youth so this paucity could be filled. He said Canada would also assist Punjab for skill development programs.
On the issue of Punjabi language teachers, if needed, Dr. Cheema assured the Minister that Punjab Education Department would provide them needful help. Principal Secretary Education Anjali Bhawra, DGSE G.K. Singh, DPI Kamal Kumar and Pargat Singh, MLA was also present in the meeting.