Thursday, February 29, 2024

State of education in Meghalaya

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CLOSE on the heels of the education scam in Meghalaya, where over 200 teachers were appointed on political considerations, comes another case of nepotism in a premier institution. What is observed over the years is that Meghalaya’s ruling elite both in politics and the bureaucracy have systematically destroyed every institution. Democracy is sustained by the institutions that the state creates to build up the human potential. If these institutions are infested with corruption, nepotism and crass opportunism then how can the human resource of the state be built? Interestingly, nearly every person in position of power and authority has sent his/her children outside the state or the country to pursue their studies. If the schools and colleges here are no longer worth their salt and are not fit for the children of the elite, then why should they be kosher for the children of the less privileged masses?
The question we need to ask all our big shots is why do they send their children to schools outside, when so much investment has been made in our schools here? The reality is that those who are in Government know what sort of teachers are employed in these institutions and don’t trust them to deliver. In fact, Meghalaya has a stinking record of politicizing the appointment of teachers. Those in the Education Department have always kowtowed to the demands of pressure groups to appoint lesser qualified individuals merely because they are tribals. This is where the problem with education begins. No parent wants to send their kids to a sub-standard educational institution to be taught by second-raters. They don’t mind paying more for quality education. But ever since Meghalaya was born, teachers have been appointed on the basis of the State’s reservation policy. Education has simply gone on a downslide since 1972. Earlier, some of the premier institutions brought in teachers from outside because they believed in delivering quality. This is no longer the case today. Apart from the ethno-centrism that drives all decision making in Meghalaya, nepotism is destroying the very foundations of our educational institutions. That a father should preside over an interview where his own children are appearing is gross injustice. The Government should take stern action on the officer and also ensure that justice is meted out to deserving candidates.

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