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16 schools without teachers at SGH; 118 vacant school jobs

BAGHMARA, September 24: In another shock from the Garo Hills education stable, at least 16 lower public primary schools have been left without a teacher since contract teachers were laid off in the South Garo Hills district as at least 118 teaching positions exist in the district.
According to district education department sources, more than 1,000 students from these various government LP schools have been without an education since 2019. If other loss-making, ad hoc, government-funded schools are added, the numbers will be staggering, according to officials.
The state of education in at least two districts of Garo Hills has been in permanent disarray for some years. This has been exaggerated with the termination of teachers’ contracts since 2019. With the government still at odds over how to set up the system itself, things look extremely bleak for the education situation in Garo Hills.
“The termination of teachers’ contracts has created many vacancies. At least 16 schools are without teachers and it is hoped that the court led roster system will soon be developed to address the issue,” a senior source from SGH’s education department informed.
Notwithstanding the number of schools without teachers, the source said regular updates have been sent to the Department of Education asking for repairs from schools with deteriorating infrastructure, some for more than a decade. However, the lukewarm response to calls literally caused many of these schools to stop complaining and move on.
“There is this thought among school circles that nothing will be done for education at SGH because nobody seems to want to deal with it. Many have stopped complaining and are content with the infrastructure they have left. Some, like Mindikgre Public School, have used tarpaulins to cover open roofs. This is how important education has become for the state,” said SGH social activist Greneth Sangma.
The recently concluded Assembly session gave some numbers on the education climate in the state, with Garo Hills easily being the focal point for lower primary education.
While the Minister of Education listed 36 schools in the state without a single teacher, the number seemed more ready to be hidden than revealed. First among the 36 named at least one school where there has been no teacher for the past 3 years, Koknal Imong under Songsak in East Garo Hills was missed. Another school in Nabokgre under Samanda Block has been without a teacher for the past 2 years, as is Gabil Bisa LP school. If you add the two schools named by Salmanpara AITC MLA, Winnerson Sangma, in his constituency under SWGH, the numbers just don’t add up.
In addition another school which also has not had a teacher since the beginning of this year, Sokadam Balading has missed out on EGH.
If you add the village of Jalwagre Songgital in EGH and Mongmabel in SGH to the mix where the appointed teachers have not been in school for the past 3 years, the situation looks worse.
Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui’s assertion that nearby alternative schools were present to meet the needs of the children is something so far removed from the current situation that Mars will feel closer to all those children than ‘an education. All because of the lethargic service that feels more at home in its offices than in the field.
In at least 4 schools where no teacher was named, which were visited, the nearest school was more than 3-5 km away in one direction, making the task of attending these ‘alternative schools’ literally out of reach. question. No one knows who provided these figures to the minister, but there are better ways to hide the failure than to whitewash the facts.
The right to education is a fundamental right that guarantees free and compulsory education to children throughout the country. However, the law in Meghalaya state is deprived of thousands of children, mostly from the Garo hills region.
“How long will they continue to deny our children the right to education? It makes absolutely no sense that a government that wanted to prioritize education did the exact opposite. They seem more inclined to work on school construction projects than to provide education. However, for all those who do not have adequate infrastructure, the wait will continue because the development of these schools is completely skewed,” said social activist Maxbirth G Momin.
“Before a decision is taken by the government, the pros and cons must be weighed. However, with the current government, it seems the mantra is to strike first and think later. What their action has done is leave thousands uneducated in Garo Hills and many parts of the state. This scenario cannot be how you prioritize education,” Maxbirth said.

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