Govt proposal on schools with low enrollment welcomed

GUWAHATI: The Meghalaya government’s plan to either shut or withdraw funds to schools having enrollment below 10 students has been welcomed by the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement.

State education minister, Lahkmen Rymbui had recently informed that there were 221 lower and upper primary schools in the state have single-digit enrollment and that a proposal would be placed before the state Cabinet soon to either close down or withdraw grant-in-aid to these schools.

The Meghalaya government incurs an annual expenditure of about Rs 20 crore on such schools, which could be used for the development of other educational institutes instead, he said.

Speaking to The Shillong Times on Sunday, Thomas Passah, vice president of KHNAM’s central executive committee, hailed the government’s proposal, saying that it was high time it took a serious look at the education system in the state.

“The reality is that educational institutions have turned into business hubs with time. Importance is given to monetary benefits through grants-in-aid, et al. The condition of most of these schools is pathetic, and many are devoid of basic amenities and facilities. The government does provide funds for these schools but the manner of utilisation is questionable,” Passah said.

“We would be very happy if a detailed survey and corrective measures are initiated by the government. A strong monitoring body needs to be put in place. The hitherto neglected government schools where a majority of children from economically disadvantaged sections study, needs to be upgraded,” he said.

“The government also needs to take care and monitor the school fees levied by private schools from time to time,” Passah added.

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