SHILLONG: Irked with the pathetic performance of certain schools in Garo Hills in the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations, results of which were declared recently, Education Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh on Thursday reiterated that the department will be forced to take hard decisions against such schools.
The minister who is currently on a four-day tour of Garo Hills to assess the education scenario visited as many as nine schools in Williamnagar and five schools in Baghmara.
Referring to a particular school in East Garo Hills, Ms Lyngdoh said the State Government spends Rs 5.20 lakh every month towards the school’s upkeep but the said school had a dismal pass percentage of one per cent in the last SSLC exams.
“The Government is keeping a close watch on these schools in Garo Hills as the department spends huge sums of money for the welfare and maintenance of these schools,” she said, adding, “We will continue to follow up their educational progress next month as well.”
Reacting to a query on poor performance of students in the SSLC exams, the minister, while blaming the large chunk of private candidates who had appeared in the SSLC exams, said, “A huge chunk of private students are there in Garo Hills which has contributed to the poor results.”
Quoting figures, she said out of the 11,488 private candidates who appeared in the SSLC exams without test only 1732 (15.08 per cent) managed to clear their exams. The private candidates with test performed a little better as 2856 of total 8360 candidates managed to clear the exams.
To another query, Ms Lyngdoh, said, “Even the teachers matter a lot in the results as we have a large chunk of unqualified teachers in the State.”
Steps against extortion: The Education Minister also confirmed the report that one of the officers from the Education department has received a demand note from GNLA, a Garo Hills-based militant outfit.
“The entire matter has been handed over to the police and we are hoping that police will do a proper investigation into the matter,” Lyngdoh added.
However, the identity of the Education department official has been kept under wraps apparently for security reasons.
Taking strong cognizance of the demand note served to the official, she said adequate security has been provided to the person. She also lauded the official for coming out in the open with his problem.
SDO denial: A Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) from East Garo Hills, who was earlier reported to have received an SMS from GNLA for a ransom of Rs 30 lakh, has denied the incident.
The militant outfit is on a spree serving demand notes to Government officials in certain parts of Garo Hills for the past several months. The State police, on their part, have launched operations in the densely forested regions of Garo Hills to track down the militants.