Shillong, Sep 13: The state government has admitted financial implications of around Rs 500 crore if the national education policy( NEP) is implemented in the state.
Addressing the gathering during the concluding ceremony of centenary celebrations of Laban Bengalee Boys’ Higher Secondary School on Wednesday, the chief minister said though NEP needs to be implemented, there are financial constraints.
“It is not that we are saying to implement from next month or the month after, but the challenges will have to be addressed.
Colleges have to offer a broader range of courses, necessitating additional resources and infrastructure and the financial implications of about Rs 400-500 crore, the chief minister added.
Congratulating the school on the historic milestone of 100 years, Conrad said that it is the vision of the founding members and the commitment and the dedication of the past and the present teachers and members of the managing committee that has brought the school to its present glory. “I can say confidently that the education sector is one of the top priorities of the government and the government has adopted student-centric policies to better the education facilities in the state,” he said.
The chief minister also said in the past 50 years, the educational system had strayed from its core principle which is the welfare and future of students and stressed that all decisions should prioritize what is best for the students.
“A significant change has occurred in the education department over the past five to six years, emphasizing student-centric decision-making”, the chief minister said.
On the complex nature of Meghalaya’s education sector, he said the state has over 55,000 teachers and close to 15,000 schools and educational institutes. “The challenges of managing schools with varying student-to-teacher ratios, some with few students and several teachers and some with hundreds of students but handful of teachers are one of the many challenges in the education sector”, he said and informed that the government is forced to take tough decisions to merge or close down non-performing institutions.
He said the government funds meant for education were often misused until recently but now “we have directed them towards improving infrastructure in government schools.”
He said funds collected for education cess had previously gone unused until 2019 and added that the present government has channelised the resources collected in the form of cess towards repairing and constructing educational infrastructure benefiting government schools across the state.
The chief minister urged the students to maintain discipline and punctuality emphasising their importance in personal and professional life and added that maintaining discipline and punctuality is crucial in life as time is our most valuable resource. “The commitment of the founders of the school 100 years ago to provide quality education is remarkable and we need to ensure that this vision is carried forward for the next 100 years,” he said.
The chief minister also informed the gathering about the upcoming development projects, including a new secretariat, parking lot, a community park, and a state-of-the-art ropeway system and reiterated that the government is committed to inclusive development, ensuring support for various segments of society, including farmers, women’s groups, and entrepreneurs.
Recalling the words of late PA Sangma during his address, Education Minister Rakkam A Sangma said that the greatest wealth or asset that we can give our children is education. “Education is the most important asset we can give to the children, the community and the nation and I believe that in the last 100 years this school has been doing that for thousands of people who are in different positions in society today,” he said.
He nformed that it is the vison of the government to make Meghalaya as one of the best states in the education sector.
The chief minister felicitated the toppers of the school in different MBoSE examinations and also released the jubilee souvenir and a book authored by the president of the Managing Committee of the School.