Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa shared a news link and claimed that the standard of education is deteriorating in the state of Punjab and the education minister of the state has no answer for this declining state and is absconding from his duties.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, currently an MLA from Delhi’s Rajouri Garden constituency, has once again created a buzz on social media. Sirsa shared a news link on Twitter and claimed that the entire education system in Punjab is in a declining state and the education minister is not doing his duty properly. He also accused the minister of absconding from his duties. Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s tweet reads, “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.” To back his claim with facts, he also produced a news website link.
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 –https://t.co/x2WQJKtuyC https://t.co/XYPNXx3guW
— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) February 7, 2020
As we began to fact check this claim, we first checked if the link shared by Sirsa is authentic. Before checking the authenticity of the report shared by Sirsa, we tried to know whether the website is authentic or not. While searching the authenticity of the website, we found that the website is being operated from Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Since the registrant’s country is shown as Pakistan, it raised our eyebrows and we began to collect more information about the aforementioned website. While visiting the website, we also noticed that the website’s homepage clearly mentions that it is a Pakistani magazine.
It was clear from various findings that the website belongs to Pakistan but the claim shared by Sirsa was yet to be verified. Since international media has a noteworthy presence in India, the possibility of a Pakistani news website reporting India based news should not be surprising so we further decided to investigate the content of the report shared by SAD leader Sirsa.
With the year 2019 seeing its way out, some 1.5 million children remain out of school in Punjab, the number only a slight improvement over the 1.59 million children that could not be enrolled in schools in year 2018 .
When we proceeded to read the article, we got to know that it is clearly mentioned in the article that the website is a premier education magazine of Pakistan. The bio of the website reads, “The Academia Magazine is the premier education magazine of Pakistan and is passionate about bringing positive change in Pakistan’s educational ecosystem. We combine years of academic know-how with industry & policy expertise to offer useful educational insight and advice that you have been looking for.”
The report published on 26th December 2019, goes with the headline “1.5 million Children Remain Out Of School In Punjab In 2019”. The first line of the second paragraph of the article shared by Sirsa names Sardar Usman Buzdar as Chief Minister of Punjab.
It created confusion since we know that the chief minister of Punjab is Captain Amrinder Singh. We tried to collect more information about Sardar Usman Buzdar and we found that he is the chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The Wikipedia profile of Sardar Usman Buzdar reads, “Sardar Usman Ahmad Khan Buzdar (Urdu: سردار عثمان احمد خان بزدار) is a Pakistani politician who is the current Chief Minister of Punjab, in office since 20 August 2018.” We also found that the hyperlinked text in the report redirects to another report in which it is clearly mentioned that the report talks about Pakistan’s Punjab province not the Indian state of Punjab.
A detailed version of the hyperlinked report can be viewed below.
What is 1.59 million worth? As a mere number, the value seems pretty ordinary. But if it comes to the fate of this many people, it becomes quite another story. The value is the number of children that the Punjab government’s latest school enrolment drive failed to get back to schools.
We also found a tweet made by Punjab education minister Vijay Inder Singla who was accused of absconding from his duties in Sirsa’s tweet. Singla’s tweet reads, “.@MSSirsa at least use the link which speaks of Punjab in India & not 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!”
.@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! https://t.co/5VTDDn7Xkc
— Vijay Inder Singla (@VijayIndrSingla) February 7, 2020
From what we found during our verification, we reached the conclusion that the claim shared by Manjinder Singh Sirsa is ‘Misleading’ as the report produced by him to back his claim talks about Pakistan’s Punjab province, not the Indian state Punjab.
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