The Principal Secretary Education, Government of Meghalaya, D P Wahlang, via a notification dated September 26, 2018 regarding the adoption of Meghalaya State Education Police 2018, stressed on the need to enable all learners to develop their gainful employment, democratic participation, moral action and a life of personal development, growth and wellbeing, which is indeed the need of the hours.
Meghalaya know as the Educational Hub of North East India, is now embroiled with a number of issues which includes tampering of mark sheets for appointment of school teachers. Unqualified teachers are being employed as the institution could not pay the qualified teachers. In this Budget Session, the government managed to enhance the Grant-in-Aid for Teachers in Adhoc Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Secondary, Higher Secondary School and also for the Science Teachers.
This seems to be the first step in revamping the Education Department in the state.
However just enhancing the Grant in Aid will not help, the department must constitute a Task Force to reform the system, starting from syllabi to text book, extra curriculum and craft classes to be stressed. It is time the knowledge of self employment and dignity of labour is introduced from the High School level. This will only help the young minds focus on their respective career and not just aim for white collar jobs which are now saturated.
The dignity of work and labour should also be inculcated into the course, so that the young minds can explore one’s skills and adopt it as their career. The syllabi should be written by qualified individuals who can inculcate both technical and general education. Education should not only produce clerks but also equip the student with sufficient resources so the choices of careers are broadened.
Once the young minds understand the value of dignity of labour, they will not shy away to set up their own enterprise or to seek employment outside the government’s purview. This way the survival skills and competitive spirits can be taught which will only mould the students to be more ethical and morally upright; this will be the first step towards revamping the education system in the state with a positive trickledown effect in society.
Education should also be able to make an individual thirst for self employment besides the usual preparing the usual clerk, administrator and so on ,in this process technical knowhow and vocational training will only help to young ones be involved in something worthwhile. Here the common maxim, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop can be avoided.
Yes it is a known fact that it is impossible to include crafts and others technical skills during the academic calendar, this will only force the parents and students to seek such knowledge during holidays and also while waiting for their results.
Schools and parents should encourage the children to take up short term courses in any form of training which in turn could be their main or supplementary career once the studies are completed. If this is successful, the responsibilities of the Education Department could be lessened as individual and private institutions will benefit from these skilled labour. This in turn will lessen the pressure of workforce applying for government post and will also force the government to rethink and introduce more survival skills for the students, so as to be a better and skillful workforce for their own future and that of the nation.
Also education needs to stress on work culture of the individual, the present day students, who have been overwhelmed with latest gadgets, have not only lost the human affection, they have no more patience to work hard and look for shortcuts for every aspect of life which is dangerous. The education system needs to produce employable youths and not just the Degrees which are framed as a show piece in the sitting room.