Pala’s remarks on PGI ranking preposterous

Editor,

An extremely absurd and ridiculous statement was made by Mr Vincent Pala on the Union Ministry of Education Performance Grading Index (PGI) showing the lowest rank for Education in the state Meghalaya. Indeed Meghalaya was graded 5th in ranking with deficiencies in all categories of the Index from (a)Learning access outcomes and quality, (b)Accessibility and Infrastructure, (c)Equity and (d)Governance process. It’s puzzling how a respected and learned individual like Vincent Pala could radically indulge in such outrageous propaganda, casting blame on the BJP central ruling party, without supporting any of his claims with evidence.

From the point of view of religion, yes, Meghalaya does have a majority Christian population and no doubt there are well established Christian schools in the state, however is it the intention of PGI to downgrade state education based on religion? States of Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kerala also have significant Christian population and Christian institutions and they have ben graded very well based on PGI. Now would Pala plead radicalism in such a case, I wonder. Once again where are the sources for his accusation. His expert opinions and claims that are based on his extensive tours across the country must inform him that our state lacks in various aspects in the education sector. I agree that Christian institutions are contributing towards the advancement of education. His statistics on the 30 – 40% government institutes and 60-70% Christian institutes only indicate that Meghalaya would be graded lower than the current status without the Christian educational institutes.

From the vast expanse of things that could be commented on regarding this issue, perhaps making a detailed assessment, analysis and review of the education system, adopting new and improved education policies, improving infrastructure, etc., would help. But Pala has indulged in propaganda sourced from immaturity and contempt. It is a great disappointment not just for the PGI ranking of the state, but also for the point of view that Pala holds. Shouldn’t we not as a state move forward in providing quality education to the children, make amends for the downtrodden situation of unsatisfactory performance and enhance the overall productivity in our region, rather than nibble on the derisive notion of, “Schools where they can brainwash students to demean the popularity of Christianity in Meghalaya?”

Yours etc.,

Phrangsngi Wahlang

Shillong-8

What next MDA Govt?

Editor,

The latest Performance Grading Index (PGI) of the Union Education Ministry, for school education, places Meghalaya as the state with the lowest scores in the infrastructure and facilities domain thus bagging the title ‘Worst Performer in India.’ Once upon a time, the state was known as the epicenter for school education in the north eastern region with the potential for being one of the superior education centers in the country. Sadly, we now have to witness the downfall of education in the state. The pride and esteem which everyone once had, has turned into shame and vexation.

What has the government of Meghalaya been doing all this while? Struggling hard for such collapse? What policy and strategy has the Education Department implemented for such a poor report? The Chief Minister and Education Minister claimed that the report released by the Ministry for the past three years will serve as a tool for the government to analyze areas where improvements are needed. Seriously? Mr. Chief Minister and Mr. Education Minister, do you think we the people of Meghalaya are so naïve as to believe in ‘Failed and then Act policy’ like you do?

In fact, the Department structural system itself is defective. The same bureaucrats are allowed to serve the Department for countless years, both at the Directorate and Secretariat level. The nepotistic nature of administrative appointment in the Department from the Block to the District level has greatly contributed to the failure of the education in the state. Well deserving and promising incumbents are deprived of their rights even with their higher qualifications, towering experiences and knowledge of the area.

District Mission Coordinators who are the backbone of school education at the district level are mostly appointed from amongst college faculties who are already engaged with their primary duties. Thus, holding such office becomes a secondary priority for them. Now is the time for the government to analyze and review the administrative reforms from the lowest level to the highest. Implementation of ‘One person one post policy” is the need of the hour.
Schools in rural areas have to be subjected to intense assessment and monitoring on a regular basis. Frequent inspection by the concerned authority is much needed. Government has to make immediate investment in infrastructure and facilities in rural schools and flourishing towns. Teachers training and allied programmes should be held extensively. The school academic syllabus and curriculum needs revision and review to upgrade the standard of education

Ironically, the post of Principals and Vice Principals in government schools are filled with political appointees and sometimes through the backdoor. Teachers teaching at the secondary school level with much lesser qualifications are promoted to the post of Principal/ Vice Principal in higher secondary schools bypassing those senior Assistant Lecturers with much higher qualifications and administrative experience. Why is government playing with education? Why does it not spare education from political interference?
Basic amenities in schools need attention as such facilities are left unattended by the government in most rural schools. Revision of the teachers’ salaries under SSA, RMSA and other ad-hoc grants must be processed to lift the morale of deserving teachers so that they discharge their duties responsibly.

With the current worst achievement report of the PGI, the state government has now reached another milestone of failure. Is the Chief Minister and the Education Minister even aware and do they understand the shame and disgrace that the state is currently facing after such a report? Three years of governance failure from illegal coal trafficking, poor handling of the second pandemic wave, the MeECL imbroglio to poor education report all add up to a miserable report card for the MDA Government. What next?

Yours etc.,

OR Shallam

Panaliar, Jowai

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