The state government has shown exactly how not to rule a state by its treatment of Meghalaya’s teachers, the opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) said today.
“The incessant harassment that our teachers are going through is beyond comprehension,” a press note said.
To express its solidarity with beleaguered educationalists, the state TMC has launched an initiative dubbed ‘Thank You, Teacher’.
“It is a means to express due gratitude to the teachers, their families and children who were gravely affected by the insensitivity of the MDA government,” the party said. “As part of the initiative, school children are stepping out across the three hills holding out placards thanking the teachers and greeting them with flowers. The students have also shared heartfelt stories about the teachers’ overwhelming efforts in guiding them.”
The state government has come in for repeated criticism by teachers – from not disbursing SSA teachers’ pay, from resisting a pay rise for ad hoc teachers, for the police using tear gas to break up a protest by contractual teachers and by the goings-on at Pine Mount School. All of these, naturally, have been jumped on by the opposition.
“The education sector is immensely affected by the misgovernance of the NPP-led MDA government. Despite multiple schools across the Garo and Khasi hills being teacherless, 800 contractual teachers were discontinued from services in government lower primary schools in January 2021,” the press note stated.
Opposition Chief Whip George Lyngdoh has pointed out that Meghalaya ranks first in the upper primary dropout rate, third in the secondary dropout rate and fourth in the primary dropout rate.
“When we talk about infrastructure, only 22.9 percent of functional schools have electricity connections and 39.22 percent have functional drinking water facilities. Therefore, the high dropout rate is an outcome of these problems, namely, lack of teachers and infrastructure,” it added.