Date- October 30, 2017
TNT- The Northeast Today
Known for being the hub of education, Shillong the capital of Meghalaya churns thousands of young students from different schools and colleges. These young bright men and women have stood up in different fields from football to UPSC but with the increase of population over the last few years the biggest impact has been on the quality of education in our state.
The level of unemployment is touching new heights and the state seems to have no clue on how to tackle this problem. A reputed newspaper from the Northeastern region reported that the prestigious North-Eastern Hill University(NEHU) is no longer as promising as it seemed in its formative years due to negligence on part of the Government of India.
It has alleged of a number of irregularities and illegalities that is happening in the University-mostly due to “inaction on the part of the government to allow the university to run by a senior-most professor as the officiating Vice Chancellor for almost three years followed by an irresponsible decision to appoint an inefficient and autocratic Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof. S K Srivastava has seemingly led to steep downfall of the university in almost all measures.”
The above report just shows how well we are being served by a University which is just going down in shambles. A major chunk of the problem lies in our lax attitude of allowing space to think out of the box. Just to cite an example, I recently went to the Shillong Book Fair at the All Saints Hall, striking a conversation with some of my old friends (college professor and researcher from NEHU) who I met at the place we went to discuss on the availability of such kinds of books to be read at the University level but to utter disappointment, the library is outdated that the concerned librarian and others are not much concerned about the future of bright minds of this generation.
The dying curriculum and syllabus are just eating away the creative expression of the youth. Books catered at MBOSE levels such as the Social Studies are dated back from 2008 and the contents remain the same.
The Assam floods that took place this year and Brahmaputra hydrological data which was not shared by China are linked but not part of the syllabus( I am not stressing this for school students but college level future geographers should know these things) The very fact that they do not even qualify into the curriculum is that we as individuals in society have stopped asking important questions.
We have just months to hit to election mode and I would be glad that our politicians(in the education sector especially) take serious note that colleges and universities in our state remain abreast with the current affairs, have open discussions, quality research work, foreign journals and up-to date books and manuals, change in curriculum pattern, field work conducted in much constructive way rather than rudimentary, these are just a few steps.
Politics aside, we need not compete with Harvard but if we begin now the ticking time bomb may not explode at all.
C L Gatphoh