Mendipathar: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Wednesday said that the Government will examine possible ways forward to extend support to Mendipathar College in North Garo Hills.

Mendipathar College is the oldest and only College in North Garo Hills, which is celebrating its golden jubilee this year.

Attending the Golden Jubilee celebration programme along with Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, Deputy Speaker Timothy D Shira, and MLAs Rupert Momin and Pongseng Marak, Chief Minister told the gathering that the MDA government is committed to streamline the education sector in the State.

“Prior to the 2018 election, I pledged to the people of the State that given an opportunity, we will work toward prioritizing education. And as vowed, soon after we took over, we formalised the State Education Policy and have been working to fulfil the mandate to streamline the education sector,” Sangma said.

He said that the Government has been spending over ₹ 2000 cr annually for the education sector, and lamented that it was still not enough.

“One of the highest percentages of expenditure goes towards the education sector. This year itself we sanctioned ₹ 100 cr for improving the overall infrastructure in about 200 Government LP Schools,” he said, while informing that all these LP Schools were lying in dilapidated condition.

He further informed that the Government is identifying 300 additional schools, which will be taken up for improvement and the funds are being mobilised for the same.

Talking on the issue of admission in higher classes and the increasing student population, he said, “In next five years, the student population will increase to about 4 lakh… and you will be surprised to know that we have only 45000 seats in colleges for our children.”

The Meghalaya CM said that the Government is aware of this issue and is working to ensure that more seats and colleges are established across the State to ensure that children are not deprived of higher education.

The Meghalaya CM informed that the Government has recently supported nine colleges in the State under “People’s College” scheme and have initiated programmes like Community College and Model College to further ensure that students get an opportunity for higher education.

“We must come up with more colleges,” he added.

Lamenting on the lack of Science Streams in many higher secondary schools and colleges, Sangma said, “Our children who want to study science, who are good at innovation, good at mathematics… sadly are not having any options… this is the challenge we face and we are looking at ways to move forward.”

 On the long pending demand for provincialisation of Mendipathar College, he said, “We will examine it. We will find the way on how we could create the right environment and right support for North Garo Hills in particular and Garo Hills region in general.”

On the occasion, the Meghalaya CM also released the souvenir of 50 years journey of Mendipathar College.

Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said that despite challenges the Government has been working to streamline the education sector with the objective to address the concerns and welfare of teachers and students.

He also informed that the MDA Government has taken steps to regularise employment opportunities for the teachers and this year 1300 teachers were recruited in permanent  posts.

He further informed that scholarships for students have been increased to ₹ 15000 depending on grades and categories as well as merit scholarship which was ₹ 60 per month has been increased to ₹ 600 per month.

“We are trying to improve the overall sector to ensure that the learning experience for our students is improved,” he added.

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