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OPINION | Education in Meghalaya is a growing business – Part 1 by Mayborn Lyngdoh R

By Mayborn Lyngdoh R | May 24, 2018

With the SSLC and HSSLC results at hand, the business mood of the schools and colleges are in tune.

Forms and prospectuses are stacked and ready. Some have already been successful in selling off a good number of them. The forms come at Rs. 300, Rs 500, Rs. 700 and so on.

Students and parents blindly purchase these forms without being actually certain of the result awaiting. Most of these forms are wasted because the students do not attain the required percentage. The forms though left unfilled, can never be reimbursed. Of course it’s not the institution’s fault. “One should know of one’s potential”.

Fees structure

The fees structure is one which is very lucrative. The fees-structure starts with Rs. 20,000 in most schools and colleges for the XI standard and Rs. 25,000 or more for the bachelor’s irrespective of the stream. As I was looking at the fees structure of my sister, a question dawned on me for a split of a second, “That’s a lot. Can we afford this?” We are a middle-class family, both of my parents are government servants, “Yes we can!” I then realised that that is a question that is being asked by so many families. Sadly, not everyone can say, “Yes we can!”

Last year when I was on a cab, I over-heard two men talking about the SSLC. Apparently, their children had just cleared the exam, securing the first division. The two men congratulated each other and spoke at large of the hike in fees in the recent years. One of them said, “We have come to an age where instead of having tears of joy that our children have done well in the exams, we have tears of sorrow knowing we will not be able to afford for their higher education”. It was heart-breaking.

I can only wonder how many untold stories are out there with silent tears that die every single year only to be heard by silent broken dreams and aspirations of parents who cannot afford and the young students whose gleaming eyes were forcefully shut by diabolic claws of this great business called “EDUCATION”.

This takes me to the next point to be discussed –

Per-capita income:

According to the Economic Times and Times of India dated May 31, 2017 the percapita income of an average Indian is Rs 1,03219 per annum, which means that an average Indian earns Rs 8601 per month.

Meghalaya on the other hand has a per capita Income of Rs 79,332 ( “STATE WISE DATA” (PDF). rbi.org.in. Reserve Bank of India, New Delhi. Retrieved 17 February 2017). Which means that the per capita income of an average citizen of Meghalaya is Rs. 6611.

If we are to think logically, even if the fees structure was Rs. 15000 per annum, then a family having two children who’ve just passed SSLC or HSSLC will have to live with Rs. 1,10000 for a year with all the other expenses that comes along (House rent, food, clothes, washing-powder, soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, taxi-fare, bus-fare, tiffins, drinking water, uniforms, books, stationeries, shoes, slippers, socks, gas, electricity bills) that are some of the basic necessities of life.

Not all of us are blessed to have both parents, what if the parent is a single mother or a single father?

Should that family cease to exist altogether?

Shillong, the mesmerising beauty tagged with the name “Scotland of the East” and “Rock Capital of India” though is the capital of Meghalaya, you’ll find a myriad families living Below Poverty Line (BPL). A good number of them are in Nongmensong alone.

There has been many efforts which has been taken to increase the literacy rate of Meghalaya by the various ministers that were short-sighted.

A classic example is when the then Education Minister of Meghalaya decided to change the education system by advising the MBOSE to make it a best of five which means students are allowed to fail in Mathematics or Science and Technology and still pass. This was in the year 2011.

This was hailed as a masterstroke as the passing percentage did improve but sadly the outcome was something that was not expected by the then Minister. The quality of education was on a downward sloping curve while the increase in fees structure started to peak.

Most students failing in Mathematics and Science are the ones coming from the urban areas. Students in the urban areas well-grounded in language. They are less hard-working because they come from well-to-do families (Note: be reasonable enough to understand it’s not aimed at everyone).

However, students from the rustic areas normally fail in English or Alternative English because of the poor quality of education.

The passing of these undeserving students has apparently led to an influx in demand for education in institutions. This influx basically comes from the passing of those undeserving students who can afford any fees structure put in front of them.

It would not be wrong to say that education is slowly but steadily becoming a bourgeois enterprise. In the next generation, Meghalaya will be divided into two sections “Haves” and “Have Nots”. One will be the reigning generation of masters that will filtrate from generation to generation, and the other, a generation of bonded servants to serve. You can argue and be try to be as delusional as you can, “Knowledge is power” and as far as India is concern, formal education is the parameter.

P.S. There are too many students that drop-out because education is becoming too expensive. It’s time we recognize.

DISCLAIMER: The opinion expressed in the article belongs to the writer and TNT- The Northeast Today may not subscribe to the same views

The writer can be reached at calebdelshe@gmail.com

You can also contribute articles and opinions for our website by mailing them to us at web@thenortheasttoday.com and shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

We welcome your comments at web@thenortheasttoday.com

Police recover arms, ammunition in East Garo Hills

TURA, May 24, 2018: The police on Wednesday seized a cache of arms and ammunition in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district, a senior police officer said.

This is the seventh seizure of arms in the last two months, he said.

The arms and ammunition were recovered by police teams with the help of locals from Dorengkigre and Bowegre villages, Superintendent of Police, Ringrang TG Momin said.

“A few of the villagers showed places where weapons were suspected to have been stashed in the jungle. Some of the weapons were recovered from very difficult places and would not have been possible without the help of the villagers,” Momin said.

The recoveries include 1.303 light machine gun, 2 AK rifles, 1 H&K rifle, 4 SBML barrels, 5 UBGL shells, 5 AK rifles magazines, 2 rockets (RPG), one 9mm magazine, one 9 mm carbine magazine, 1 remote control, 1 signal booster, 12 IED remote circuit, 30 AK rifle bullets, 8 pistols, gelatine sticks and 66 electric detonators, police said.

One the AK rifles is suspected to have been snatched from policemen in an ambush, they said.


MPYC slams Conrad’s statement on Ampati recreation; calls CM greedy

From Our Correspondent | TURA, May 24, 2018

The Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) on Wednesday slammed state CM, Conrad Sangma, over his statements about recreation in Ampati if the NPP came to power.

Addressing the statement, MPYC president, Richard Marak asked, “What kind of recreation is he talking about at Ampati? By saying that he is going to re-create Ampati, does he mean to undo everything that Dr Mukul Sangma has done in the last 20 years and return it to the backwardness that he and his family envisions for Garo Hills?”

Marak also shed light on the fact that while the NPP was in opposition, they had complained of all development going to Ampati. “Where was the question of under-development, then?’’, he asked.

“Conrad Sangma emphasizes that they are the ones forming the government at the state. Isn’t this too much talk coming from someone who isn’t even elected to the Assembly yet? If they are so powerful forming a government then how is it that they are unable to disburse the salaries of the GHADC employees till date,” he added while stating that they were the ones pointing fingers at the  Congress government on the same matter.

“They are a part of the state government as well as NDA at the centre so why are the funds not flowing and the GHADC employees not being paid their salaries? Was it not Conrad Sangma who proudly accepted an award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in recognition of the growth of the state in the agriculture sector in March, a few days after formation of their government? This award was given for the hard work done by the previous state government,” said Richard while calling the act shameless.

The MPYC president called the CM greedy stating that he had tried to nominate himself to the CEM post in GHADC and is now the nominated CM and not an elected one.

“In the process he is making a football of his sister Agatha Sangma who worked hard and was elected MLA of South Tura constituency only to now having to resign. If family members can become footballs for him, just think of what he can do to other people. Maybe the MDCs are more intelligent than the MLAs because they rejected his ploy to become the CEM,” said the MPYC president.

“If Conrad Sangma is really the leader that he projects himself to be, maybe he should have resigned his Lok Sabha MP seat and stood the elections and if he got elected and became the chief minister, more respect to him. Instead he hides behind his party men, making deals with his BJP masters who paved the way for him to claim the CM’s seat,” accused Marak.

Accusing the NPP of having to advertise to find a candidate for the Ampati seat, the MPYC claimed the CM chickened out of the contest in Ampati knowing it would have been a losing cause.

“They narrowed down to the candidate (Clement G Momin) who has already been rejected by the people. It’s a known fact that NPP/ BJP had to field somebody to save their skin else Miani Shira would have won uncontested,” he added.

HSPDP, PDF campaign for NPP candidate in Ampati

shillong news

Shillong News | Ampati, May 23, 2018: 

The regional parties of Meghalaya HSPDP and PDF today campaigned for NPP candidate Clement G. Momin at Sapthoka, Chondonpara and Joyfur to give testimony that all the regional partners are united under the leadership of chief minister Conrad K. Sangma.

Ampareen confident of Congress’s victory in Ampati

By Our Reporter | Shillong, May 23, 2018: 

Few more days and Ampati will finally get a second chance to elect a leader who will represent them in the Assembly. And as the days draw closer, the battle between the rival parties — Congress and National People’s Party (NPP) rage on…

Hue and cry over woman found hanging after allegations of dowry torture on husband’s family in Tura

From Our Correspondent

Tura, May 23, 2018

The death of a young woman allegedly through hanging in the village of Magumari, Haripur under West Garo Hills district, has raised a huge cry in the plain belt after the father of the victim filed a FIR at Tura Women’s PS on allegations of torture for dowry by her in-laws.

The victim had married one Zolbahar Sk on 27th Aug, 2017 and was allegedly being harassed and tortured for dowry by the entire family who were also named in the FIR filed on May 16.

Following the filing of the FIR, the husband of the victim was arrested while the other relatives are currently on the run.

The FIR named Zolbahar Sk, his father – Abdus Sobur Sk, his mother Anwora Begum, brother in laws – Aynal Haque, Azbahar Sk, Akkas Ali, Abbas Ali, Amir Hussain and sister in law, Sorifa Bibi.

According to the FIR, immediately after marriage, the husband along with his family had begun to demand money from the father of the victim, Nurzamman Sk.

“They warned that if I did not pay money, they would send my daughter back to my house. Thereafter they started physically assaulting her. Even the doctor who checked my daughter confirmed the beatings that she received,” said the victim’s father.

The victim was found hanging by the roof at her house at about 1:30 pm in the afternoon of May 16, raising many alarms within the area.

“She was murdered after which they hanged her body. The entire episode was masterminded by her husband – who was out of the state. I fear she was killed by them and would request you register this case and take action accordingly,” alleged the victim’s father.

Confirming the receipt of the case, the SP of WGH, Dr MGR Kumar said that the husband, Zolbahar was arrested on the same day.

“We have taken up the case as that of murder and have arrested her husband as soon as he came back. There were also earlier medical reports of physical assault on the victim and it seems a serious case of crime against women. We are awaiting the post mortem report and are also on the lookout for the other people in the husband’s family,” said Kumar.

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