Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has announced that all government schools in the state established before Independence will be declared as ‘Heritage Schools’ and special attention will be given for infrastructure development along with a museum within their premises.
Khandu gave this assurance in response to a request by organizers of the Platinum Jubilee celebration of Government Secondary School (GSS), Balek near Pasighat in East Siang district, for declaring the school as a Heritage School.
Established as a lower primary school in 1946, GSS Balek is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee, which was declared open by the Chief Minister on Wednesday.
“…Not only this school but all pre-Independence government schools in the state will be declared as Heritage Schools with a museum showcasing its rich history,” he said.
To another request, Khandu directed the Deputy Director of School Education (DDSE), East Siang to submit a formal proposal to the government to expedite the process of upgrading the school to a higher secondary school.
“This is a historic occasion. The school’s journey of 75 years is a big milestone given the fact that Arunachal Pradesh was born as Union Territory in 1972 and became a full-fledged State only in 1987,” Khandu observed.
Hailing the school for producing many luminaries in its long journey of 75 years, the CM paid rich tributes to those who have passed away and congratulated those who are serving in various capacities and those who have retired.
He said that from 3-4 schools established before Independence, Arunachal Pradesh today has more than 3,000 government schools across the state.
“We have faced immense challenges particularly in the education sector but we have kept our progress steadfast,” Khandu said.
He, however, emphasized on quality rather than quantity.
“We have focused more on establishing schools after schools without keeping an eye on quality of education being imparted in these schools,” the CM said.
Khandu blamed the huge number of schools without proper infrastructure and manpower in the state on ‘politics of appeasement’. He asserted that his government does not believe in political appeasement but on quality of schemes and projects.
“We have taken education very seriously. In fact we have shut down about 400 government schools having zero attendance. The process is still on.
We don’t need more schools but we need quality education from the existing schools for which government is extending all support,” he said.
The Chief Minister informed that he has already given direction to the Education department for mapping of all government-run schools in the state so that the government can keep a tag on each school.
Earlier in the day, Khandu unveiled the bust of late Ketem Yomso, who donated the land for establishment of the Balek school, inaugurated the retrofitted and beautified school gate by a local NGO – Giidang Angong Society and took part in a tree plantation drive at the school campus, besides felicitating 10 meritorious alumni of the school.
He also inaugurated five development projects and laid the foundations for 13 more projects at Pasighat besides announcing a new market on the land donated by locals.
Also present on the occasion were MP Tapir Gao, MLAs Kaling Moyong, Ninong Ering, Lombo Tayeng, Gum Tayeng, Talem Taboh, Ojing Tasing and Kanggong Taku, and officials of the district administration.