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NEP dominates discussions at MCTA’s biennial conference

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SHILLONG, April 26: The 35th Biennial Conference of the Meghalaya College Teachers Association (MCTA) deliberated over the implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, highlighting perspectives on holistic education, challenges faced by educators, and the need for reformation in higher education.
The conference also touched upon the opposition encountered during the policy implementation while also emphasising the importance of stakeholders’ involvement for the successful realisation of NEP goals.
In her inaugural address, Prof Alicia Gatphoh, Vice-Chancellor of ICFAI University Meghalaya, said that the NEP aims to provide holistic education for all. She emphasised that the NEP goes beyond merely awarding degrees to students; it focuses on continuous assessment education. “There will be self-assessment, besides assessment by parents and evaluation by students and assessment by classmates as well,” Gatphoh said.
Highlighting potential challenges, Gatphoh mentioned that teachers may feel overburdened during the transformation stage while adapting to the NEP requirements. She even advocated for the involvement of all stakeholders to successfully implement the new policy.
Meanwhile, delivering the presidential address, Dr BH Buam, president of MCTA, observed that higher education in Meghalaya lacks vision and direction.
“The policies of the state government reveal little of its commitment to human resource development, evidenced by the fact that the sector is highly dominated by institutions providing general education,” she said.
She also pointed out the absence of technical and professional institutions, affecting youth employability in the state.
“There is a near-total absence of technical and professional institutions which directly affects the employability of the youth in the state. The lack of employment opportunities for the youth is of serious concern for all stakeholders of higher education in the State, given the increasing reliance on the market economy that stresses the importance of innovation,” she said.
Dr Buam stressed on the need to reinvent roles in higher education to align with the NEP 2020, while also emphasising the importance of preparing the state and colleges for vocational education and skill development programmes.
Additionally, Dr Buam highlighted the imperative role of teachers in fundamental educational reforms. She noted that the hurried implementation of NEP 2020 without clear directions has left teachers in chaos.
“Innovations are not just about adjusting to policy changes; they are about equipping educators with the tools, knowledge, and mindset needed to shape the future of education in India,” she said.
She also spoke about the opposition faced by MCTA against the arbitrary imposition of NEP policies.
Dr Buam said that the opposition stemmed from a lack of legitimate basis, rational foundation, and the arbitrary imposition of the policy on the colleges affiliated with NEHU by NEHU.
“The opposition intensified with every passing moment and with the unrelenting attitude of the concerned authorities to see meaning and find sense behind the opposition, the MCTA in one voice resolved to launch the non-cooperation movement against NEHU for its failure to address a valid reason of according sanctity to its unilateral decision,” the MCTA president said.
The successful implementation of NEP 2020, she added, requires the engagement of all stakeholders.
“The NEP 2020 entails a radical structural reorganization. The magnitude of the restructuring exercise is enormous in nature. It is incomprehensible to perceive the kind of interventions and efforts to provide and fulfill the basic mandated requirements of NEP 2020,” Dr Buam said.
During the conference, Prof. Ayon Bhattacharjee, NIT Dean (Faculty Welfare), and Joseph Somi, IGNOU regional director, also addressed the attendees.

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