SHILLONG, Nov 06: The United Democratic Party (UDP) has vowed to bring the 2008 education scandal to its logical conclusion and ensure that justice is served when the regional front that it is a part of is voted to power in the 2018 state elections.
Hailing the recent judgment passed by the Meghalaya High Court in this regard, UDP working-president Paul Lyngdoh said the party commends the High court’s long awaited order and it hopes the matter can now be taken to its logical end.
Pointing out that a state cabinet minister is one of the prime accused in the case he lauded the high court decision to give the CBI 6 months to proceed with the investigation.
Stating that this same period of six months would also see a change of guard in the state’s secretariat with the UDP leading the next government, Lyngdoh said, “So it is a happy coincidence because the new government to be led by the regional alliance of which the UDP is the larger partner will ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensure facilitation of a fair investigation.”
Lyngdoh said it is time to take corrective measures and side by side with the CBI’s investigation it would be the primary fundamental duty of the next government to ensure that this “opaque veil” that allows all misdeeds to happen in the state should be removed.
“This veil should be immediately removed and we should ensure a transparent system of recruitment not only of teachers but at every level of the government,” he added.
He also stressed the importance of revamping the entire system of education and plug the loopholes that have severely hampered the development of education in Meghalaya.
“We have compromised with the quality of the teaching fraternity because of these acts of indulgence,” he said.
Stating that it is an established fact that there is no dearth of qualified, capable and sincere teachers, Lyngdoh however said, “But it is the system of favoritism that has wreaked havoc to Meghalaya’s education.”
Referring to the reply of the current minister in-charge education Deborah Marak in the floor of the Assembly who revealed that the number of school dropouts has gone up to 1 lakh in the last four years, he said that no state can succeed unless it has education as a top most priority and for anybody in-charge of government especially this vital department to be able to tamper with the system and to ensure that certain persons are picked up as favorites is itself an act of grave injustice to the hundreds and thousands who have merit and who deserve better.
“The High Court’s order is a very long awaited decision because we need to ensure that we have a system which is tampered proof and education system that helps to alleviate and bring out the best in the human individual,” he said.
Lyngdoh also recalled that he had spoken on this matter in the Assembly and had even advocated that the Meghalaya Public Service Commission (MPSC) should be made thoroughly transparent.
According to him, the candidates should be given access to their answer scripts once the scripts are evaluated, so that they will know how much they have scored or marks obtained and why they have been given a certain marks.
Similarly, Lyngdoh reiterated that along with the written scripts, there should also be a system where the personal interview be recorded on video and kept in the records of the MPSC.
“The candidates and members of the public should be given access to the answer script and video tape of the personal interview so that there is total transparency in the functioning of the MPSC,” he said adding, “We as a state which is lagging behind in all aspects cannot afford to have a manpower that has been compromised right from the initial stage of recruitment.”
Meghalaya cannot lost its tag of being the educational hub of the North East, according to Lyngdoh even as he said that this is severely being eroded by political interference in the process of recruitment.
Meanwhile slamming the ruling Congress, Lyngdoh said that the state will not grow because of certain festivals that are draining the state’s exchequer.
“Meghalaya will not grow because of Cherry Blossom festival, the strength of Meghalaya is its peopl who have so much of potential and talent, it is criminal on the part of those of us who are in the political arena to play with their future because playing with their future is also playing with the future of the state itself,” he stated.