Developed By: Workmates Core2Cloud
As Covid cases rise in the state, so also the alarming increase in deaths which begets the question as to whether our state apparatus is equipped to handle a situation like the present.
People are in a state of panic as all who are taken to hospital for treatment and who unfortunately pass away are invariably tested positive for the virus. We all know that this is a pandemic of alarming proportion and scientists and the health system have been caught unawares as it’s a new disease for which there is no known cure yet.
Our healthcare system was and always is in a shambles all over the country and particularly in our state. This is a known fact. Medical care which is supposed to be free in government hospitals is never really free as medicines have to be bought from outside pharmacies and various tests have to be done in private agencies because equipment is always out of order. So how can we expect our healthcare to tackle such a situation effectively?
The recent case of a patient dying because of late arrival of the ambulance to get the patient to a nearby hospital is a case in point. While we laud the initiative taken by our Chief Minister and his cabinet and also the Director of Health services and his team of health workers, it is also important to have someone take emergency protocol initiatives whenever such a situation arises as was the case talked about earlier wherein the SOP was to wait for the 108 ambulance service to ferry the patient. The matter could have been resolved by the victim’s family who could have taken the patient to the hospital maybe saving her life in the process.
People are also scared to go for treatment to hospitals as almost all cases test positive. This leads one to question as to whether these tests are genuine or not. If reports are to be believed, the state government is getting a huge sum for every positive case reported. While applauding the government machinery for the effective tackling of the pandemic, we do hope that those in power do their jobs to the best of their ability and are not lured by the incentives available – meaning pocketing the money meant for the general public.
Only then can they once restore the faith that the public have on them.
Adjusted Academic Calendar 2020-21
Following the lockdown to the Covid 19 crisis, all walks of life are badly affected but more so the academic calendar. As much as students miss their regular classes and school activities, teachers are in a fix on how to reach out to students. There have been directions that online method of schooling could be done but it has proved to be unsuccessful considering that a large number of students could not avail the benefits due to various reasons. After over 5 months of uncertainties over the current crisis, my concern is how as a teacher, I should approach the curriculum for this year’s session, if at all the situation improves. My hope rests with the wisdom of the Directorate of Educational Research and Training (DERT), of the State Education Department, to evaluate, review and adjust the remaining academic calendar and curriculum.
My anticipation as a teacher was fulfilled when the ‘Adjusted Academic Calendar 2020-21 was put forward by the Government of Meghalaya through the DERT on September 17, 2020. In the first two pages of the foreword and acknowledgement by the Principal Secretary, Education Department and the Director Educational Research & Training, much appreciation was given to the State Resource Groups and Professional Learning Communities which comprise of ‘subject experts’, ‘teacher educators’ , ‘curriculum developers’, ‘experienced educational administrators’, ‘teams of district managers’ and ‘Meghalaya school improvement programmes’ etc.
However, to my disappointment the so called ‘adjusted academic calendar’ was more or less the same. One chapter from Geography Class X was omitted. To make matters worse, it makes the existing curriculum more complicated. I can’t speak on behalf of other subject teachers but it’s what I observed with my subject.
There’s no content related to respective topics; no direction and no outlook. If this is what our system is only capable of, then the outcome is obvious. I say this with regret but from what I can gather it looks like they flipped over the pages of an MBOSE Text book and randomly chose, ‘Headings in Capital Letters.’ I could give examples from beginning to end of every chapter and topic but it’s not possible here. But let me give an example. In the Class X Social Sciences, Geography section: Chapter 5- Minerals and Energy Resources, the chapter “Conservation of Minerals” was the ‘Portion removed from the Adjusted Academic Calendar’. However in the same chapter, the heading “Conservation of Mineral Resources” was included. The following chapter of the same subject, which is ‘Agriculture’, ‘Technological and Institutional Reforms’, ‘Food grain Production’ are the Topics removed from the ‘Adjusted Academic Calendar’ whereas Topics like ‘Developments that Helped Raise Agricultural Productivity’ were included. This doesn’t make much sense when the ‘Topics removed’ and ‘Topics included’ are related and have the same knowledge base.
The same is the case with other chapters of both Geography and Economics section. If this is the case with my subject then I believe other subjects will have similar faulty context. While I appreciate the motive of the Government in times like these to reduce the stress on students and teachers with regards to the curriculum, however, ‘The Adjusted Academic Calendar,’ is not acceptable simply because it is not helping anyone. With so many distinguished panel of experts, developers, educators, managers, administrators etc., the least we expect is an ‘Unchanged Academic Calendar and Syllabus .‘
As a teacher I am very concerned with how very little time we have; how many lessons the students have to learn; how safe are our students and how are we going to approach the next step.
Name withheld on request
A concerned Teacher
(Teaching Geography and Economics (Social Science)
Municipality & stray dogs
Stray dogs have become a nuisance in many localities of Shillong. Early risers and joggers face this problem every day. An aged resident of Upper Mawprem has been attacked a couple of times by such strays during morning walks. With the rapid increase in stray dogs in various localities, people find it very difficult to walk on certain roads or footpaths which are strewn with the feces. The issue has become a cause of concern for the parents having small children. They fear sending their children outside not because of a dog bite but because they might return home with dog crap in their show soles.
It’s only in Shillong where rampant defecation by stray dogs is taken in its stride. Out of desperation, people these days hang plastic bottles filled with blue-colored-water right in front of their entry gates. The belief is that this will scare away the dog from crapping around.
Saturday night was a real nightmare for pedestrians. No one can take the risk of crossing the roads with the flock of unpredictable dogs. Many residents have complained about sleep loss due to the continuous deafening barks. What is disgusting is that the pet lovers, without civic sense, take out their dogs for littering on the main road and lanes. How can people loving exotic pets also be so irresponsible and unconcerned? Do you know they hardly pay a glance over those hungry street dogs?
The rise in number of stray dogs has irked the residents of Upper Mawprem is a cause of huge concern particularly for children and the aged. This has been brought to the attention of the Dorbar Shnong as well.
The government should not remain complacent or indifferent when public safety is at stake. The concerned authorities of the Municipality and also Deputy Commissioners must take action All appropriate measures must be adopted by the Board. Come what may, the government must be sensitive to keep the canine herd on a tight leash.