Lately the state of Meghalaya is being embroiled with the headlines with Education and Health related matters, be it the College or Primary teachers, to the swine flu alert or the Megha Health Insurance Scheme, but no one has put a thought as both the departments deal with human lives, one moulds the person while the other heals, both deal directly with Human Resources, hence, utmost sensitivity is a must.
The report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to the Gauhati High Court is expected to come up for hearing on Children Day- November 14 by Meghalaya High Court which has exposed the involvement of state politicians such as Ministers, MLAs, MDCs in the MUA government in the education scam of illegal appointment of candidates, to the posts of Assistant Teachers in government Lower Primary Schools in five Sub Divisions by tampering score- sheets.
The report also stated that the tampering was done in the office of the Director, Elementary and Mass Education Department to favour some candidates who did not qualify and also candidates recommended by politicians.
There is a saying that a bad teacher can spoil 30 generations. One can understand why the results in the rural areas are so bad in any of the board examinations. In most cases, such recommended teachers simply outsource their post to others as substitutes. The substitute teachers are being paid by the teacher themselves; this factor is enough for one to comprehend the quality of education the students will be receiving and the kind of deliverance by the so called nation builders to the service.
Yet another concern is the Health Department, the influential only receive the state quota for the medical seats, and in return the same politicians refuse to receive treatment from such candidates during illness. Also, some candidates refuse to serve the state and prefer to pay back the bond money. This only proves how influential they are, while the deserving candidates have missed the bus.
Here a bad doctor will affect a single patient, although it is bad enough, while a bad teacher will affect our society for generations to come. It is time to introspect!
Why should an individual harm the society. There are careers and professions carved out only for individual, and most careers need a special calling. One should not try to bail oneself out from unemployment by spoiling the society, especially in the field of education and health.
Since we are talking about the exposure by CBI on education scam, erstwhile Education was the crowning glory of Meghalaya. Shillong city, which was once the most favorite Education Hub for the North Eastern states, and other countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh, is now fast losing this tag. Not only is there a decrease in the number of students from such locations seeking admission here, even the students from the state prefer to continue their studies outside.
The imbroglio between the teaching and non teaching staff with the state government is nothing new, but the ugly turn recently has damaged the very foundation of this Temple of Knowledge Educational Institutions.
The strike by deficit school teachers had continued for a long time, grabbing the headlines more than the government policy could. End result, the future of the students is being kept at stake.
Meghalaya have been known as the education hub for the North East, in the state, there are as many as seven teachers associations, namely, All Meghalaya Primary School Teachers Association, Meghalaya Upper Primary Schools Teachers Association, Khasi Jaintia Deficit Schools Association, Garo Hills Deficit Schools Teachers and Employees Association, Meghalaya College Teachers Association, NEHUTA and FEDCUTA. Each has its own set of grievances.
The Deficit School teachers have been knocking on every door of the government to seek justice. On the other hand, every parent expects their children to have the best of education within their limited means, cutting across all sections in the society.
Here in the state for the past decades the most auspicious day September 5 - has been celebrated as Teachers Day, but this very state is also the first one where the Teachers take out placards reading ‘Beggars’ Day’. And such status has not been changed, looking at the present situation of unrest of the teachers.
Under this backdrop, instead of revamping the Education department, it is sad to note that the politicians in order to add few more votes to their vote banks are recommending their candidates even if they are not qualified, debarring the deserving candidates who could have changed the lives of many students. The Human Recourses could have been improving in much better direction in the state.
There is no denying that such practices are there in every department, only it was not exposed. It is time for both the politicians and the masses to shun favoritism in at least two of the departments - Education and Health for a better and healthier society.