Shillong: Meghalaya could see a reduction in number of schools in near future as the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has noted the existence of ‘too many’ schools in the State as a reason behind the problems in the education department and the insufficient funds to support them.
This was revealed by State Education Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui here on Monday while reacting to a query on the deficit school teachers’ demands not being met.
The Khasi Jaintia Deficit School Teachers’ Association (KJDSTA) and Garo Hills Deficit School Teachers and Employees’ Association (GHDSTEA) have decided to observe the upcoming Teacher’s Day as black flag day as a mark of protest against the government’s indifference towards their demands.
On the issue of too many schools in the State, the Minister said he had defended the situation by stating that the State has more than 6,000 villages and due to its typical terrain and remoteness “The MHRD has also pointed out the mismatch between the number of teachers and the students’ enrollment, which however I had defended that this was because Meghalaya has more than 6,000 villages and also due to its typical terrain and remoteness,” he said.
However, he stressed on the need to take a decision against the schools with ‘single-digit’ enrollment of students.
On the demand of the teachers that include the need to increase the salaries of the adhoc teachers, salary of the fourth teachers, regularization of the services of SSA teachers, lump sum grant, opening of community colleges and residential schools besides others, Rymbui said the State needs one-time special assistance of over Rs 5,000 crore to resolve these issues.
“We would need roughly around Rs 5,000 crore as one-time special assistance to resolve all these problems,” Rymbui said adding “The chief minister is also taking the education sector very seriously and I hope slowly we will be able to solve these problems.”
He also added that the state government and the education department at present are working under tremendous constrains.
Stating that the teachers have the right to express their concerns, Rymbui said that his department is dedicating it’s time to find solutions in resolving the problems of the teaching community.
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