Thursday, June 20, 2024

National Education Policy a nonstarter in Meghalaya


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SHILLONG, June 1: Implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) is likely to be delayed in the state since most of the prominent institutes are not yet ready to adopt the policy, Education Minister Rakkam A. Sangma said on Thursday.
Sangma said the state government held three meetings in the last three weeks including a one-to-one meeting with the heads of prominent institutes where they expressed their inability to implement the NEP.
“We have sent communications to all the heads of institutes to write to us in black and white. By next week they will give us their inputs and list their problems and issues following which the state government will take a call on the matter,” he said.
Stating that the NEP is a big and inclusive move to bring the standard of education system in the country at par with global standards, Sangma said the primary challenge here is that multi-disciplinary courses have to be introduced and by 2030 all the educational institutes like colleges have to become autonomous. A lot of faculty members have to be appointed and infrastructure has to be improved, he added.
“We want to implement the NEP at the earliest but the heads of the institutes have petitioned the government that they are will only be ready by the start of the 2024-25 academic session. So we have to wait and watch,” he said.
He recalled that during his visit to London a fortnight ago, he had attended discussions on NEP where he observed that the world has acknowledged the Government of India for its efforts to improve the standard of education in the country.
Asked what would happen to the State Education Policy once the NEP is implemented, Sangma said there is not much difference but the state government is examining the issue.
Meanwhile, the minister said the Education Department will constitute committees to review the functioning of the department, especially in the Garo Hills region.
“In respect to Garo Hills, we congratulate the toppers and heads of institutes but the overall performance of the state and especially the Garo Hills region is not up to the standard we expect,” Sangma said while referring to the recently-declared MBoSE results.
Talking about the large chunk of dropouts in the state, he said, “This is one of our concerns. The reasons have to be addressed. It may be the environment, infrastructure or the quality of our teaching…all these issues have to be addressed.”
Sangma observed that around 47% of the teachers in the state are untrained and the government is working on a proposal to increase the number of seats in B.Ed colleges.
“This is the need of the hour. Maybe this is the reason why we are not imparting quality education right from the elementary level in the state,” the minister said.
He pointed out that hundreds of teaching aspirants are going to West Bengal to do their B.Ed courses as colleges in Shillong and Tura have a limited number of seats.
Asked if new B.Ed colleges will come up, he said that instead of setting up new colleges, the existing infrastructure should be upgraded.


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