Shillong, Sep 16: The state government is working on a long-term solution to better the ranking of the state in the Performance Grading Index (PGI), said Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Friday.
In his reply to a call attention notice moved by Mawsynram legislator Himalaya Shangpliang in the Assembly, Rymbui said Meghalaya’s poor PGI ranking “is an indication that the state needs to revamp and make hard decisions” taking all stakeholders onboard.
“I would like to reiterate that the state government is seriously studying the matter. I request all to support the state government and the education department to come out with an appropriate long-term solution,” he added.
Meghalaya was among the worst performing states and was listed in Grade V category last year.
Rymbui said the state PGI scores in learning outcomes and quality is admittedly low for several reasons and the state needs to work on innovative interventions.
Under PGI, the infrastructure and facilities include classroom, ICT/smart classes, library/reading corner, functional toilets, safe drinking water supply, electrification, vocational labs/workshop, midday meal, integrated science lab, distribution of uniform and free textbook, besides functional school building.
Stating that the state has shown remarkable improvement in the indicators, Rymbui asserted the need for focus on the adjusted net enrolment rate (ANER) at the secondary level, retention rate at the elementary and secondary levels and take steps to identify out-of-school children and mainstreaming.
In the equity outcomes, the state has shown an overall improvement under this except CWSN indicators where state requires to improve immensely.
The minister emphasised the use of technology and digital infrastructure, like the need for a database of teachers, upper primary schools meeting norms of subject, number of teachers transferred through a transparent online system etc.
With regards to digital infrastructure, Rymbui said the department of education has implemented a comprehensive teachers information management system (TIMS) for all teachers working at various schools and colleges across the state.
The TIMS is conceptualized and developed to address many PGI indicators such as transparency of recruitment, posting, transfers, teacher’s attendance, promotion, efficiency bar, increment and salary transfer
The state government is also planning to implement Vidya Samiksha Kendra (VSK) or the command-and-control centre, which is a learning management and tracking system. It will focus on improving learning outcomes and learning levels of students through a robust system of online assignments, projects and regular assessment of students’ performance that is formative, competency-based and tests higher-order skills, such as critical thinking and conceptual clarity.
This will be executed in a learning management tracking system through a central monitoring system that will also track students’ progress. The minister said this would be an important initiative towards transforming assessment in line with the goals of NEP – 2020.
With regards to school building infrastructure and safety to children, the minister said that the state has addressed the infrastructure facilities and has supported 208 schools at Rs 109.33 crore in phase-I, 111 schools at Rs 100 crore in phase-II and 1878 schools at Rs 86.76 crore in phase-III to be covered under state funding for infrastructure improvement and upgradation.
The state government will repair more than 1,000 school buildings across districts that are in dilapidated condition.
“However, work has not yet started and identification of dilapidated school buildings is under process,” Rymbui said.