BARIDUA (Ri Bhoi): Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Saturday revealed that his government was working on a robust education policy that would stress on, among other significant aspects, the quality of higher and technical education.
Announcing this at the 4th convocation ceremony of the University of Science and Technology (USTM), a private university here, Sangma said that education would be at the forefront of the state government’s scheme of things.
“In fact, our government has allocated the highest budget for education. We have quickly moved to creating an education policy, keeping in mind the fast changing scenario and innovations coming into the education system,” the chief minister said.
“So we are working on a very robust education policy that will lay emphasis on the quality of higher and technical education. I am happy to tell you that the draft is ready. In fact, in the Cabinet meeting yesterday (Friday), we went through the entire presentation of the education policy and I hope we can release it within this month, which will be a great milestone for our state,” he said.
Sangma also underlined the significant role research institutes and academia could play in governance and policy making.
“It is important for the government to ensure that while making polices there has to be close coordination between the research institutes and the policy makers. Research, ideas and knowledge must be utilised while making government policies,” he said.
“Besides, we are also concerned about environment which needs to be protected through mitigation and adaptation policies where detailed study and research can play a role,” Sangma added.
The chief minister also warned of “firm action” against non-performing private players in the state’s education sector.
“The right to opening new centres should only be given to institutes who show good intent and who are serious in selflessly contributing to the education sector,” he asserted.
Eight PhD candidates, 825 (Masters) and 264 (Bachelors) students were conferred degrees at the convocation.
Congratulating the Masters and Bachelors degree holders and PhD scholars of USTM, he advised the students never to get disheartened by failures, citing his own example, when he had contested elections five times and lost on two occasions. “I never looked at the losses but tried to analyse what went wrong and how it could be corrected. Failures teach you and therefore one must not give up,” he said. Sangma also recalled the genesis of USTM back in 2008 and the important role played by his father and former chief minister, PA Sangma along with Donkupar Roy (then chief minister) and Manas Chaudhuri (then education minister) to make the project happen. He also lauded the initiative and vision of Mahbubul Hoque, the founder and chancellor of USTM, to establish the university as “one of the best private educational institutions in the Northeast.”