Your paper (ST June 14, 2016) had highlighted parents’ complaints over the hike of fee structure imposed by the Shillong Public School Managing Committee on parents of students studying in the institution. As could be read from the report, the fees realized by the school authorities are very high and definitely, a big burden to parents, especially those who are from economically weaker sections of the society. For Shillong Public School and even other schools, each and every fee imposed needs to be re-examined from all aspects in order to bring education within easy reach of all sections of the society and not to be dictated by the whims and fancies of the school authorities.
As far as I know, Shillong, Jowai and Tura Public Schools are purely government established and managed institutions and the school fees are usually highly subsidised to provide schooling facilities to all students especially those hailing from economically weaker section of the state and also in accordance with article 21, 41, 45, 46 and other provisions of the Constitution of India. I do not know whether the school authorities of Jowai and Tura Public Schools are also charging steep fees similar to that of Shillong Public school. These schools are also covered under Right to Education package scheme of the Government of India. Hence, there is no justification, whatsoever, to hike school fees to such exorbitant rates which are not tenable before the law. Perhaps the parents of these institutions may need to refer to the judgement of the Gauhati High Court, Shillong Bench, in Writ Petition (C) NOS.42 (SH) & 21 (SH)/2001, Meghalaya Parents’ and Guardians’ Association Versus the Government of Meghalaya and other rulings of the courts for further enlightenment on the issue.
House divided against itself cannot stand!
Many in Meghalaya are unhappy with the political situation in the state at present where the top leaders such as the Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma, the former Chief Minister DD Lapang and the lone MP from Shillong constituency, Vincent Pala are fighting to be the next leader. In fact, many MLAs had quit supporting Mukul’s government because of the disagreement among the top leaders belonging to the same party. At present, this Government is in danger of collapsing and soon President’s Rule may be imposed in our state. If this Government or this Party continues to be what it is now, do you think that it will bring more development in the state? The answer is a resounding ‘No,’ for how can a government dream of development, better infrastructure, good education, good governance, good roads and communication if the leaders belonging to the same party are against each other? What will people learn from this behavior of our political leaders whom we have elected to represent us? I believe most people living in Meghalaya are Christians and therefore we are acquainted with the Gospel in which Jesus said, ‘Every kingdom or house divided against itself will not stand but will soon collapse’. Thus, a party or government divided against itself will bring no development at all. This we have seen in the poor condition of our roads, dirtiness of our city, rivers, drains and the pathetic condition of our Government houses which look like no one has lived in them for years.
PM’s whirlwind tour
This refers to your article “Modi US visit : Reasonably productive” (ST, June 1, 2016). PM Modi’s whirlwind five-nation tour appears to have got off to a good start. Travelling five nations in 140 hours and meeting various diplomats and signing numerous deals and delivering one of the finest speeches in the U.S. reveals the fact that Modi is intent on making India strong on the international front. He is touring many nations to uplift our economy and in turn to improve the quality of life in India. Strengthening ties with selected countries is the hall mark of our PM and this will benefit India strategically. He has raised India’s profile immensely and made it a trading partner for every country in the world. Ocean economy, space cooperation, cyber security and nuclear commerce are some of the important issues to be discussed at international platforms. It is hard to believe, how PM can manage so much work, so many trips, so many meetings at international level. Modi is a true Indian, working tirelessly to do the best for the country and the people and deserves our compliments.
Vinod C. Dixit