JOWAI: The Meghalaya State Government have no policy to classify the SSA schools in the state comprising of 2907 Lower Primary Schools and 2232 Upper Primary Schools opened up under the erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
The fact is revealed after the Meghalaya SSA School Association (MSSASA), Central Body has sought information through Right to Information Act asking for clarification under which category the State Government will classify the SSA Schools in the state of Meghalaya quoted from Meghalaya State Education Policy 2018.
“The existing categories of schools are Government, Government Aided, Deficit, Deficit Pattern, Adhoc, SSA and Private Schools. However, there is no policy of the State Government to classify SSA Schools” says the Deputy Director of School Education & Literacy while replying to the RTI application dated 6 March, 2019 and 3 April, 2019 filed by Aristotle C Rymbai, President, Meghalaya SSA School Association, Central Body on the query, “As stated in para 3.5 sub para 3.5. 6 of the Meghalaya State Education Policy 2018 which read the government will streamline the existing categories of schools and classify them into Government, Government Aided, Partially Aided and Private Schools only.”
On this regards, recently the Meghalaya SSA School Association, Central Body had submitted a representation to the State Government through the Director of School Education and Literacy who is also the State Project Director of SEMAM (SSA) expressed its unsatisfactory on the stand of State government.
In the representation MSSASA also point out, since ‘Meghalaya State Education Policy 2018’ framed by the Committee chaired by the Minister Incharge Education Department in commitment to the aims and principles of the National Policy on Education, 1986 and its Programme of Action (POA) of 1992, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (the RTE Act) and the Draft Education Policy, 2016, and had been approved by the Cabinet of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Govt. on 21st September, 2018, the Association are here to reveal that under Section 2(n) of the RTE Act, four categories of schools are defined, namely: A school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate Government or a local authority, An aided school receiving aid or grants to meet whole or part of its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority, A school belonging to specified category and An unaided school not receiving any kind of aid or grants to meet its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority.
In the meantime, MSSASA added, “under the provisions and principles of the Act, the SSA Schools in the State (Meghalaya) comprising of 2907 Lower Primary Schools and 2232 Upper Primary Schools fall under the ‘Category ii’ of Section 2 (n) of the Act. Therefore, by saying that ‘There is no policy of the State Government to classify SSA Schools’ it deemed a violation of the letter as well as of the spirit of the said provisions of the Act by the State Government and the Authority concerned”
Aristotle C Rymbai while expressing his concerns on the issue says, “if the state government have no policy to streamline and classify the SSA Schools, it must come up with a clear picture what plan and better options the State Government prepare for SSA Schools in the State.”
The Association therefore request the state government to re-examine the case and come up with rules and regulations for implementation of the ‘Meghalaya State Education Policy, 2018 which will benefit to all and not affect the sentiment of the SSA Schools and SSA teachers in the State and soon the Association will meet the Authority concerned for discussion on the agenda, Aristotle C. Rymbai added.