Thursday, February 29, 2024

‘Keep educational institutions out of purview of bandhs’

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By Our Special Correspondent

 Shillong: In a tête-à-tête with senior journalists on Tuesday, Vice Chancellor, North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Prof AN Rai has appealed to all interest and pressure groups to exempt education institutions and NEHU in particular from the purview of bandhs.

“Bandhs and road blockades are detrimental to the functioning of educational institutions. We have completed the examinations but the process of evaluation and announcement of results is slowed down. This affects students who wish to enrol elsewhere in the country,” Prof AN Rai said, adding that even the meetings of the Study Board, School Board and the Academic Council are affected.

Informing that he has just been appointed member of the Central Advisory Board in Education (CABE), Prof Rai also sought suggestions from media persons and members of the public regarding the problems faced by the State of Meghalaya in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, so he could adequately represent these concerns at the CABE.

Prof Rai also informed that NEHU’s plan size for the 12th Plan period is to the tune of Rs 400 crores over five years which is basically development grant. “This would cover the cost of starting new disciplines such as History & Archaeology, Mass Communication, Hotel Management, Horticulture, Nano-technology, Architecture and Energy Engineering,” the NEHU VC added.

Major infrastructure development within the 12th Plan period would include maintenance and overhaul of existing infrastructure. “Most students’ hostels are unusable. We have earmarked Rs 60 crores for major facilities for students, new hostels and revamping of the old ones,” Prof Rai explained.

A new inclusive academic complex would be created for the new departments as the old complex is already saturated, the NEHU VC informed.

Another new initiative is a proposal to set up the North East Centre for Diversity which would ultimately be NEHU’s contribution to the North Eastern region.

Responding to a question as to why out of 50 or more colleges in Meghalaya only less than 10 were accredited to NEHU, Prof Rai said every college has to fulfil some basic criteria such as full fledged laboratory, proper classrooms, library and a full faculty strength. “Sadly in this region no one agitates for better education. NEHU is an A-grade university so the colleges should be at least B grade, but many are not. Unless the civil society demands better education, institutions will not improve themselves.

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