Indian Campus

Arunachal’s Changing Education Sector

December Edition, NET Bureau

Arunachal Pradesh, over the years, has witnessed development in every sector. And this was even attributed by President Ram Nath Kovind while addressing the valedictory function of 40 years celebrations of Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, Arunachal Pradesh at Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar on November 19. Taking a leaf out from Kovind’s speech, Northeast Today analyses on the changing scenario of the state, especially focusing on its education sector.

First Few Words

The efforts made by the Arunachal Pradesh Education Department yielded positive results and it brought home the ‘Best Performing Small State in Education’ for the state at the India Today State of the States Conclave 2017 held in New Delhi recently. State Education Minister Honchun Ngandam along with Special Secretary (Education) Mitali Namchoom were present to receive the award that was presented by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. This recognition comes as a big boost for the state government, which has left no stone unturned to make Arunachal an educational hub- not just in the Northeast but also in the entire country.

Attending the valedictory function of 40 years celebrations of Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, Arunachal Pradesh at Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar, Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu announced the setting up of a Skill University to provide employment opportunities outside the government space, which Khandu believes will help the youth of Arunachal Pradesh to gain employment opportunities outside the government space.

AAPSU’s View

Development of the education sector has always been on the priority list of All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) – the premier student body of the state. Over the years, the student body has put extra efforts and exerted pressure on the government to develop the education sector. In an exclusive interview with Northeast Today AAPSU President Hawa Bagang spoke about the organisation’s view and steps that it has taken to develop the education scenario of the state.

AAPSU, in December 2016, had submitted a 17-point-charter of demands to the Arunachal government, seeking Pema Khandu’s inter-vention. Talking about it, Bagang said, “In our 17-point charter of demands to the State government in December last, AAPSU demanded for regular disbursement of payment to SSA teachers, systemisation and streamline of subject disciplines in government colleges, development of Arunachal University at Pasighat, adequate supply of textbooks and other teaching learning materials, timely disbursement of stipend and scholarship etc. I believe that the yardstick to determine the educational sector can be analysed by quality education, quality product or good results of the students.”

“I feel that the improvement of education cannot come from bottom but from the top, the state governments’ strong conviction and political will determine the future course of improvement. When we specifically analyse the educational scenario in Arunachal Pradesh, we have gravely hit three aspects, one the state has very poor infrastructure and other the present concept of requirement of smart class, secondly we do not have quality teacher which is one of the factor for poor results in educational sector and we are looking forward for the implementation for rationalization of teachers transfer and posting, supply of adequate teaching learning materials, textbooks, infrastructure, transparent recruitment policy etc,” the AAPSU president further added.

Government’s Initiatives

Under the behest of CM Pema Khandu, the Arunachal Pradesh government (under the education department) has approved the creation of 1,309 teaching and non-teaching posts, out of which 1,130 post are solely for teaching staff. This list includes 349 science and mathematics teachers.

Moreover, 57 new posts of teaching staff under the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT), District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) and Block Institutes of Teacher Education (BITE) have been created. Another 55 non-teaching staff positions have been created for SCERT, DIET and BITE. The council of ministers also approved 18 new posts under the Directorate of Elementary Education.

The Arunachal Pradesh State Assembly recently passed the Kameng Professional and Technical University Arunachal Pradesh Bill 2017 (Amended) and the bill paved way for establishing a private university at Bhalukpong in West Kameng district.

Taking note of the shortage of teachers in several government colleges, Pema Khandu has further announced about the creation of 130 posts for teaching and non-teaching staff in 29 higher education institutes.

The government has also launched a series of signature schemes like the VIDYA Scheme, which was launched for girl students of Class VI for continuing school education. The scheme envisages an initial deposit of Rs10, 000 in their account, which can be drawn with interest after they pass Class XII.

To encourage and recognise the outstanding performance of principals, headmasters and teachers in schools, the Chief Minister’s Award for Excellence in Quality Education has also been announced by the state government.

While speaking at the inaugural function of Dera Natung Government College, Pema Khandu announced that the teachers of colleges and universities in Arunachal Pradesh will receive the benefits of 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).