Chief Secretary Donald P Wahlang today said that the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) should include Khasi as a compulsory subject and vowed to introduce the language in all Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) in the State.
Speaking at a regional seminar on, ‘Patriotism then and now’ to observe Literary Day organised by the Khasi Authors’ Society (KAS) the Chief Secretary informed that around 40 EMRS will be set up in different districts of Meghalaya and vernacular language is essential for every student to study.
“It is high time that CBSE courses must also include Khasi as the compulsory subject and I will ensure that the same will be done for the EMRS institutions in the State,” he said.
Wahlang also said that he will try to abolish the Alternative English subject to enable students to learn the vernacular language.
“Only in Meghalaya that Alternative English is allowed to be opted as the second language subject in higher education, where majority of the students are from the Khasi community, while every Khasi student or any person who applied for Schedule Tribe certificate is supposed to learn and study Khasi language,” he lamented.
He said that he had studied outside the state and during his CBSE examination, he opted Khasi language instead of Hindi, even though there are no teachers in the institution. “I took upon myself to learn and study Khasi vernacular subject and had scored high marks, while the same is also being done for one of my children. I will also try to abolish the subject of Alternative English in the MBoSE to enable learning of vernacular language for every local indigenous student,” he said.
Wahlang said, “We are tribal we should not forget our roots, language and our traditions, we should protect and save our language”.
The seminar which was held on the topic ‘Patriotism then and now’ was participated by eminent academic luminaries including Rev. (Dr) O L Snaitang, Prof. L S Gassah, retired Head Political Science Department, North Easter Hill University, Dr O R Shallam, retired Associate Professor, Kiang Nangbah College, Jowai and S Loniak Marbañiang, retired Professor and former minister.
The resource persons delved into a wide perspective of patriotism ranging from pre-colonial to the colonial and post-colonial periods with analysis on the changing patterns of political administration in the State. Every speaker argued at the attitude of politicians throughout the ages and concluded that the present scenario is bereft of statesman stature in the political arena.
The event also saw the felicitation of eight students for scoring highest marks in Khasi subject in their respective examination and the release of two books authored by Khraw Kupar Kharlukhi and Duster Roy Khongngai.
The programme was also attended by Directorate of Arts and Culture Compiler, Melissa Kharpuri, KAS president Dr DRL Nonglait among others.