Punjab is going to be revolutionised. Not only are we (I am a Punjabi hence the ‘we’) going to be the ‘full parha likha Punjab’ but also the ‘English-medium Punjab’. Yes, yes. I fully realise that the Sharifs and the Chaudhrys will fight over the former title. No offence to the Sharifs, but it was the Chaudhrys who came up with the name ‘parha likha Punjab’. The Sharifs are just trying to go the extra mile by making it 100 per cent ‘parha likha’. The ‘English-medium Punjab’ is going to be a reality by April 2011.
How’s that going to happen? Work on the project has already started. We have trained ‘master trainers’ for six whole days to make the transition from Urdu to English. The rest of the public school teachers will be trained by them for 12 days; three hours every day, they will learn English in 36 hours. Can anyone beat that? Thirty-six hours to learn a new language. Us Punjabis, we are special! I believe they will include all the BA and MA teachers who, having completed their degrees in English litraature, think Shackspeer was a woman. The Punjab government in 2007 said that by end of 2009 we would have a literacy rate of 70.76 per cent. See how efficiently we calculated the literacy rate, right up to two decimal places? Why didn’t that happen? Duh! The government changed.
The new one’s better though since it promises 100 per cent literacy. Too bad they missed the decimal places. We’ve started a drive that has made not enrolling children in school a criminal offence. Smart, eh? Once the children enroll in school, monthly tests will evaluate their progress. The ones who fail more than three times will be kicked out. Maybe, not THAT smart. Having a vision is commendable. Hallucinating, on the other hand, is lamentable. A vision demands planning and patience rather than an overnight shift in policy. A vision is the tortoise, a hallucination the hare. We all know who won.