Shillong: As schools reopen in the state, Meghalaya legislators have expressed concerns over absence of teachers as the process of their recruitment is still ongoing.

Several legislators participated during the question hour of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. The question concerning academic curriculum was raised by East Shillong MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh .

According to NPP MLA Ferlin CA Sangma, there are 23 schools that don’t have teachers because the teachers employed here were under contractual basis. “The situation has occurred as the result of MTET and the appointment process is still under process for 184 teachers in Dadenggre subdivision,” stated Ferlin.

She further questioned how the government was tackling this problem. Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said the process was underway.

Rymbui informed the House that advertisements have already been placed for recruitment in Dadenggre Civil Sub-division and that the recruitment process is on. He said the government was hopeful of completing the recruitment process soon.

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Nationalist Congress Party MLA Saleng Sangma raised the concern that due to schools remaining closed for most of the time during the two years of the pandemic, most of the facilities mainly desk and benches meant for students have either been stolen or destroyed. Saleng stated that in most of the schools, especially in the villages, under his constituency Gambegre, benches and desks are mostly missing.  

“How do we address this issue? As a local legislator, I’ve addressed the issue according to my capacity but to provide facilities to more than 100 villages has become difficult. Request if the facilities can be provided from the government,” urged Saleng.

Mawsynram MLA Himalaya Shangpliang also spoke about the condition of buildings of lower primary (LP) schools in his constituency. MLA Ferlin CA Sangma also raised in how government LP and non-government LP schools, the infrastructure is in need of care.

She stated that almost 90% is in such a bad condition that the atmosphere is not conducive for students to go and study. The schools have turned into more like cow sheds, the MLA said.

All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) leader Dr Mukul Sangma questioned that if there is a gap between the actual appointment of the teacher, in the interim what measures has the government taken to ensure that there are teachers in the classrooms. To which the education minister responded that they will have to follow the process of recruitment. 

“Problem of schools relating to appointment of teachers is difficult to complete immediately. We have tried to streamline and want that the solution taken is permanent,” responded the education minister.

Rymbui added that last year the education department had appointed permanent teachers in several schools in the sub division. But he said it has been observed that in different districts there is shortage of qualified teachers, so the department has done what was necessary by carrying out the MTET exams.

Dr Mukul Sangma suggested the minister incharge to conduct a district-wise review to understand the gravity of the situation. The AITC leader stated that in one of the schools in East Garo hills, teachers appointment was not done for more than a year.

“Since we know that it will take time, the process of recruitment, so are the students supposed to go to schools without teachers in the classroom?,” questioned the Trinamool leader.

As two more AITC MLAs, George Lyngdoh and Zenith Sangma, asked the tentative timeline for the government to complete the process, Rymbui responded that if the department does not face any problem they will be able to complete it within a month.

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