NONGPOH | July 19, 2019:

Over 200 students of the Ri Bhoi Presbyterian Higher Secondary School, Nongpoh graduated from a 10-day programme on Soft Skills, Career Readiness, Talent and Aspiration Identification under the Aspire Meghalaya initiative of the state Meghalaya government.

The Aspire Meghalaya was designed to take coaching for soft skills, wellbeing and career readiness to tribal youth of the State across rural and suburban schools and colleges.

The programmes are being rolled out by State implementation partner, AVENUES in partnership with select institutions for school and undergraduate students in 8 districts.

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Certificates of participation were awarded to all successful candidates of the programmes in an intimate ceremony conducted in the school auditorium.

The official textbook and courseware for the Aspire Meghalaya programmes was also launched Chief Minister onrad K. Sangma here today.

Addressing the young students, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma appealed to all stakeholders to focus on quality over quantity in education, sports and skills development initiatives.

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He applauded the participants for their confidence and encouraged them to “contribute to yourself, your family, your society, your State, to the country and to our Mother Earth. It is with this vision and idea in mind that we decided that we must ensure that the best in you comes out through programmes like Aspire Meghalaya.”

He highlighted the urgent need for young people to drastically improve the national narrative around youth, work and productivity in the State and urged the young participants to be productive members of society. “We hope to target over 4,000 youth across the State through this programme as we work towards building an ecosystem that brings out the best in you.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi District, R. M. Kurbah said, “The sense of pride and confidence displayed this afternoon is indeed something we have always longed for, for the students of this area.” She lamented the fact that students in rural Meghalaya lack the exposure and support systems necessary to identify and realize their ambitions.


“I believe this programme has given you the tools to prepare a roadmap for the rest of your lives”, she said while commending AVENUES for the visible transformation of the students of classes 11 and 12.

“It is deeply encouraging to note that the State Government has chosen to focus on well-being, emotional resilience and personal aspiration at the heart of the skilling landscape for school and college students through this initiative” expressed Mark Stone Laitflang, Managing Director, AVENUES.

Narrating her experience, one of the students, Devika Sohkhwai said that she had not only improved her English and communication skills, but also learnt to “rediscover myself, challenge myself and overcome my fears”.

Students were also encouraged to appreciate their culture and heritage. “We never realised that there were many rare and special things found only in our Ri Bhoi culture”, she said.


The students of the institution performed a moving rendition of the classic Khasi folk song “Mei baieid jong nga” and dedicated their sessions on leadership to their mothers. The workshops conducted focused on personal values, emotional awareness, basic speaking skills, decision making and goal setting, while each participant was encouraged to explore their talents and aspirations.

It may be mentioned that Aspire Meghalaya is a first of its kind initiative sponsored by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the country. The programme is implemented through the Department of Arts & Culture, Government of Meghalaya through State implementation partner AVENUES Shillong.


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