Shillong: Days after a government report put Meghalaya among the worst performers in school education, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said the rankings were aspects of the overall education sector that’s been suffering for a long time.

Five NE states – Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh – were among the worst performers as per the latest Performance Grading Index, which was released recently by Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma told EastMojo that infrastructure is an area of major concern.

“Our government has laid a lot of stress on education in the last three years. Several education reforms have been initiated. Investment has been brought in and infrastructure for 200 schools has already been set up,” said Sangma.

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Sangma said 500 new schools are in the pipeline for Meghalaya, adding that it will take some time to see the impact of the investments made in the sector.

“The rankings that we have seen are aspects of the overall education sector that’s been suffering for a long time. But the government of Meghalaya has decided to give priority to education and that is why massive investments have been made in the sector in last two years,” said Sangma.

The Performance Grading Index report has come as a major embarrassment for Meghalaya, which aims to become an educational hub. According to the report, Meghalaya’s performance was the second worst in the country, after Bihar, mostly because of its lack of infrastructure and other facilities.

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“Two states – Bihar and Meghalaya – recorded lowest scores in this domain (infrastructure and facilities), which is a cause for concern,” the report said.

The index grades states and UTs on a set of 70 parameters like access, equity, governance processes, infrastructure, and facilities, and learning outcomes that are mostly self-reported by the states but vetted by the Centre. Proper school building with adequate facilities is a must to improve the overall quality of school education, the report said.

Of all the NE states, Tripura was the best performer on the 20th spot with 801 points, followed by Sikkim (772 points), Manipur (767 points), Assam (738 points), Mizoram (723 points), Arunachal Pradesh (698 points) and Nagaland (667 points). Meghalaya is placed at the bottom of the chart with 649 points.

Punjab topped the chart with 929 points, followed by Chandigarh with 912 points and Tamil Nadu with 906 points.

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