We talk about quality education in Meghalaya? Are we serious or is it just a slip of the tongue? Such kind of ambitions could be just a dream and seems light years away from reality. Governments come and go but nothing changes. In our state, quality education is jinxed! Yet, it is the most favourite game played by almost every government, without having any intention on how to win it? The MDA Government, in particular, has mastered the art of playing by casting a spell in 2019 at Malki Ground in which we, as Adhoc School Teachers were being lured by a very well-equipped Wharton graduate who has orchestrated things in such a way that we now bear the brunt. He has cajoled us in front of Ramdas Athawale, Union Minister, Government of India without any hesitance by assuring that our demand for upgrading all Adhoc Schools in the state into a Deficit System will be discussed by November, 2019 itself and the matter would be solved by then. Alas! he actually made a fool out of us and has misled us all into a desert instead of green lush meadows. We, are being pushed and pressed down against the ground by this present government. We are all left lying on our backs and being denied the right to live to our full potential. Nevertheless, the MDA government might have had their own mischievous plans with regards to education itself. It seems like the subject of education in Meghalaya is no better than a bone, hard to swallow.
People from every walk of life are aware of this renowned maxim, “ Teachers as Nation Builders”. Well, this maxim may apply in every state of our country, except in Meghalaya. In our State, this honour is conferred only to government school teachers and deficit school teachers, whereas, we get that tag once in a year, that is on every 5th September! Hence, the basic truth is that in our State, classism exists. The two classes (government school teachers & deficit school teachers) are being treated like the government’s privileged citizens while the lowly class (ad-hoc school teachers) are no better than rags, usually used to wipe out all the dirt on the government’s floor. The ill-treatment which we have borne ever since has not only affected our livelihoods, but the future of thousands and thousands of students in the State. This has a negative impact not only on us teachers or students, but it is the root cause of backwardness in all spheres of life. This is one of the main reasons for our State lagging behind in all fields. It seems the future of a quality education in Meghalaya is bleak, and I fear that education could be at the brink of destruction if the present government does not understand the functions of education and change its mindset at the earliest. The truth is, the government and deficit schools alone cannot, and will definitely not be able to cater to the demands of high quality education in this modern era. There is a big gap in between the starting line and the goal to achieve. It is here that Adhoc Schools play a pivotal role in filling up the gap and to become the “Lifelines of Education” in the whole State. The fact is if there are no Ad-hoc Schools to raise the standard of education and to ignite the spirit of competition among students in a positive way it will be a task too much to ask for. So, our demand from the MDA government is to stop building castles in the air and fulfil the promises at an earliest possible time if it really wants to see the true meaning of quality education.
To achieve its goal, the government must not only dream but also act. Commitment is the line it must cross because that really shows the difference between dreaming and doing. It is up to the MDA government to decide whether it wants to close its windows and darken its room or open it and let the light in
Overjoy Lyngdoh Mars
Balang Mawlangwir Girls’ Secondary School,
MPSC needs comprehensive reforms
The Hon’ble Meghalaya High Court recently ordered a stay on all fresh recruitments until the State Government puts a roster system in place. This is surely a step in the right direction but will only be a piecemeal reform in the way MPSC is functioning. More needs to be done to comprehensively reform MPSC. In this regard, two suggestions are given below:–
1. The recruitment exercises by MPSC have always been long drawn-out affairs. For instance, MPSC conducted exams in December 2020 for posts advertised in April 2016 and results for a few categories of posts are yet to be declared. Further, exams for 328 posts advertised on December 14, 2020 are yet to be held. I know that this time the MPSC has the pandemic as a scapegoat to blame for this delay. However, Central government recruitment agencies like the Staff Selection Commission, State Bank of India Recruitment Board and Institute of Bank Personnel Selection (IBPS) found ways to continue with their respective recruitment processes during those months when Covid cases were sliding down. In any case, MPSC has no valid excuse to offer when even during normal times 3-4 years have to elapse from the date of its advertisement of posts till appointment of personnel. Contrast this with the SSC which rarely takes more than a year in its entire recruitment process while SBI Recruitment Board and Institute of Bank Personnel Selection take 5-6 months and 7-8 months respectively. The above mentioned three central government recruitment agencies always publish their exam calendars and stick to such calendars while MPSC never mentions any such calendars in its advertisements.
2 . MPSC is the only government recruitment agency that still continues with oral interviews for Group B(non-gazetted) and Group C and D categories of posts. All other states have abandoned this practice following central government directives in this regard so as to minimize favouritism and nepotism in government job recruitment. It may also be mentioned here that the central government had done away with oral interviews for the above categories of posts since January 1, 2016 to ensure fairness, transparency and a level playing field to job aspirants. A letter available on the website of the Government of India’s Ministry of Personnel,Public Grievances and Pensions ( No.39020/ 09- 2015 Esstt.(B)dated 28th January 2016 circulated to all States and UTs to abolish job interviews to the above categories of posts has surely been grossly disregarded by our government for obvious reasons.
Under the above circumstances, the public can only pin its hopes on the judiciary to intervene and set things right.