On February 7, Manjinder S Sirsa, a member of Shiromani Akali Dal, tagged the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, to point out the deteriorating standards of education in Punjab in a tweet (archive). Sirsa also shared a link in the tweet which claimed 1.5 million children remain out of school in ‘Punjab’.

Sirsa wrote in the tweet, “CM @capt_amarinder Ji, your part time batsman @VijayIndrSingla ran away in the middle of innings; it’s time you come to the crease and answer on the deteriorating standards of education in Punjab Another news report points out the sorry state of affairs”

FACT-CHECK

Sirsa’s attempt to question the progress of education standards in Punjab backfired as he shared a link which reported the status of education in Pakistan’s Punjab, not India’s.

Sirsa shared a 2019 link from the Academia Magazine, a Pakistan-based education magazine. According to the report, about 1.5 million children remain out of school in Punjab. The report added that the number is only a slight improvement from 2018 where over the 1.59 million children were not enrolled in school. “The annual enrolment campaign was formally launched on March 20, 2019 by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and dubbed the Enrolment and Retention Campaign 2019,” reads the second paragraph of the report.

Vijay Inder Singla , education and PWD minister of Punjab Government, quote-tweeted Sirsa and said, “@MSSirsa at least use the link which speaks of Punjab in India & not the Punjab in Pakistan, before spreading fake news & displaying utter ignorance. Now we know why have u been talking about schools, cuz you urgently need to go back to one to take basic lessons!”

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.