SHILLONG, SEP 13: Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday attended the closing ceremony of the yearlong Centennial Jubilee celebrations of Laban Bengali Higher Secondary School in the presence of Minister, Education, Rakkam A Sangma.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma congratulating the school on the historic milestone of 100 years 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 stated that 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. Talking about the complex nature of Meghalaya’s education sector he said that 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 that present in the education sector”, he said and informed that the government is forced to take tough decisions to merge or closing down non-performing institutions.
“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, while adding, “Government funds meant for education were often misused until recently but now we have directed them towards improving infrastructure in government schools.”
He further pointed that the viability of schools with low enrolment where even after several years, no students pass the matriculation examination is a matter of concern for the government.
He further informed that funds collected for education had previously gone unused until 2019 and added that the present Government has channelized the resources collected in the form of cess towards repairing and constructing educational infrastructure benefiting government schools across the state and informed that He further pointed that the viability of schools with low enrolment, where even after several years, no students pass the matriculation examination is a matter of concern for the Government.
The Chief Minister also urged the students to maintain discipline and punctuality emphasizing 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.
Talking about NEP 2020 he spoke at length on the need for colleges to offer a broader range of courses, necessitating additional resources and infrastructure and the financial implications of about 400-500 cr. The Chief Minister also took the opportunity to announce several ambitious 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 commitment to inclusive development, ensuring support for various segments of society, including farmers, women’s groups, and entrepreneurs.
Recalling the words of late P A Sangma during his address, Minister, Education, 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 further informed that it is the vison of the government to make Meghalaya as one of the best states in the Education sector.
Earlier the Chief Minister felicitated the toppers of the school in different MBOSE examinations and also released the jubilee souvenir and a book edited by the President of the Managing Committee of the school.