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Rakkam discusses challenges in education sector in Garo Hills

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Education minister inspects Captain Williamson Sangma State University

TURA, June 13: Education Minister Rakkam A Sangma on Thursday partook in a high-level consultative meeting of Meghalaya State Education Commission (MSEC) and conferred about various challenges faced in the education system in the Garo Hills region.
During the meeting, the education minister solicited the view and opinions of the attendees — principals of secondary and higher secondary schools, colleges, teacher associations and District School Education Officers (DSEOs) from Garo Hills region — to improve these challenges.
It may be mentioned that the education minister, along with the MSEC, is on a three-day to Garo Hills, aimed at assessing the region’s educational landscape.
The delegation will focus on understanding the current state of educational institutions, identifying challenges, and exploring opportunities for improvement.
The MSEC team’s visit to Garo Hills includes multiple stops at various educational institutions, aiming to gather insights and feedback from stakeholders.
The visit emphasises the government’s dedication to enhancing educational opportunities and infrastructure in Meghalaya.
During the meeting, Rakkam urged the deputy commissioners and education officials to inspect schools every now and then in their respective districts in order to oversee their functioning.
Informing that Chief Minister Conrad Sangma aspires to see Meghalaya becoming one of the top-ten states in India, Rakkam maintained that education is one of the most important factors to usher in overall development.
Advisor to the Education Department, Himalaya Shangpliang, informed that the Meghalaya State Education Commission paid a visit to Garo Hills to understand to the challenges faced in the respective schools, the ground reality and give their suggestions for the improvement of education system in the region.
Educationist Sume B Sangma, who also runs a morning school for domestic workers, informed that her students come every nook and cranny of Garo Hills, even beyond, while lamenting that they lack the fundamentals of education.
Sume revealed that most of the students come from single-teacher schools, who teach five classes at a time.
She also mentioned other challenges such as language barrier, late supply of textbooks, etc.
Meanwhile, St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Tura, principal Rev. Father Thomas John informed that things have changed comparatively from earlier times as most of the parents depend on the institution for the studies of their children.
He also attributed the students’ loss in interest towards studies to the growing phenomena of addiction to mobile phones and social media.
Moreover, he also suggested that the examination pattern of Meghalaya Board of School Education be reviewed.
State university inspection
Meanwhile, the education minister on Thursday also inspected the newly inaugurated Captain Williamson Sangma State University in Balalgre, South West Garo Hills, along with Shangpliang, members of the MSEC, and other officials.
During the inspection, the team evaluated the university’s facilities, met officials and discussed the institution’s role in addressing local educational needs.
Efforts are being made to ensure that the state university is fully equipped to provide quality education to the students.
Special lecture
Meanwhile, the Tura Christian College organised a special lecture on ‘Christian Medical Mission in North East India’ for the Meghalaya State Education Commission.
The lecture was delivered by Prof. David Reid Syiemlieh, Former UPSC chairman and adviser to MSEC.
In his address, Syiemlieh said that the Christian Medical Mission in the Northeast is one of the most neglected areas of study.
Urging young scholars from Tura to write articles and conduct research on the said subject, Syiemlieh said he had done extensive research on the contributions of Baptist Missionaries with particular reference to Thomas Jones, Presbyterian Mission, followed by a research on several Christian Mission and churches in the spread of faith, education and medical Services in the Northeast region.
Meanwhile, MSEC chairperson, Prof. SM Sungoh spoke on the ‘Work Culture and Ethics’ and reminded that as educators they have a pivotal role in shaping the minds and talents of the students.
Stating that the mission goes far beyond imparting knowledge, she said they have to nurture, inspire and empower the students with skill development and assist in contributing to the growth of sustainable future.
On the other hand, Education department secretary, Ambrose Ch Marak, informed that the members of the MSEC have paid a visit to Garo Hills to understand the ground reality and listen to the stakeholders’ views and opinions on the present education system in Meghalaya and to address the challenges faced by them.

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