AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday launched his party’s Make India No. 1′ campaign, claiming the country made the mistake of not giving importance to education when it gained Independence. Beginning the campaign from his home district Hissar, he also accused the ruling BJP in Haryana and the state’s previous Congress government of shutting government schools. He called it a very dangerous trend for the country.
“The country should have focused on education. We should have focused on building good government schools in every nook and corner, every village and mohalla in war mode in 1947,” the Delhi chief minister told reporters, pointing at the mistake made after Independence. After Haryana, the Aam Aadmi Party leader plans to visit other states as part of the new campaign. He is on a two-day trip to the state.
The AAP often showcases Delhi government schools as an example that should be followed by other states, using its success in the national capital as part of its pitch when elections approach. In Haryana, the AAP has accused both the ruling BJP and the previous Congress governments of shutting down state-run schools.
There is a wrong trend in the country at present. Like in Haryana, around 190 government schools were shut by the present government and the previous government closed down 500 schools, he claimed. Last month Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar rubbished the opposition charge as baseless while admitting that some schools were merged.
Both these governments shut 700 government schools in the last few years, Kejriwal claimed. Instead, he said, government schools should be upgraded to provide quality education. He claimed that like his government in Delhi, the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government in Punjab too is improving the condition of government schools.
The practice of shutting government schools that is going on in the country is very dangerous, he said. Kejriwal said 27 crore children go to school every day across the country.
Of them, 18 crore go to government schools. If we start shutting them, where will the 18 crore poor children go and if they remain uneducated, how will the country progress, he said. We have to ensure good and free education in the country in war mode, he said.
He congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for deciding to upgrade 14,500 schools across the country, referring to a plan announced by the PM on Monday. But Kejriwal has said all schools should be improved. He said he has written to Modi, asking him to take all states along and upgrade 10.50 lakh government schools in the country over the next five years.
Kejriwal asked why India is not number one in the world even after 75 years of its independence, and accused politicians of just playing politics over this period. If 130 crore people unite, nobody can stop India from becoming the number one country, he said. “We have set out on this mission and we will reach every nook and corner, and go to the states and try to connect people,” he said, referring to his party’s campaign.