Shillong, Oct 26 (PTI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has said the youth of his state should be competitive, patriotic, hard-working, skilled and qualified.
This is necessary as they should be the driving force to shape the future of the northeastern state, the chief minister said while laying the foundation stone for the construction of a new building of Captain W A Sangma Memorial College in South Garo Hills district on Sunday.
The state government has sanctioned Rs 12 crore for construction of the building.
Speaking at the programme, the chief minister said, a college is more than just a building.
'We want colleges to transform students into good human beings', he said.
Addressing the gathering at Baghmara, Sangma said, there were no visible changes in the college even 12 years after it became a government facility.
The institute ceased to be a private college in 2008.
Without blaming the previous Congress-led government for the lapses, the chief minister said, 'Twelve years is too long. However, work commenced today and we hope that the building will be completed in the next two years.
'What we started in 2008, we were able to do it in 2020. It is due to the vision of former chief minister Donkupar Roy and my father P A Sangma that we are able to do this today.
'Their vision will remain incomplete if students of this college are not able to qualify for competitive examinations,' he said.
Lauding Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui for his 'clarity of thought', the chief minister said, 'It is reflected in the decision which he makes for the future of the state.' When Rymbui presented the proposal for sanctioning of Rs 12 crore for Captain Sangma College and two other colleges, the chief minister said, 'The proposal was so clear that I did not take even two minutes to issue necessary directions.' The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government in the state has also taken a decision to upscale Williamnagar Government College and Sohra Government College.
Elaborating on the problems in securing admission due to lack of infrastructure, he said, 'In South Garo Hills district, there are about 2,380 seats in higher secondary schools and 610 college seats. We have 15,000 plus population in the age group of 16-20 years who require to be enrolled in colleges.
'The current gross enrolment ratio in South Garo Hills is roughly about 20 per cent which will further go down, if we are not able to create infrastructure to cater to the needs of our children.' If corrective steps were not taken now as the scenario is the same in almost all the districts, it will pose a serious challenge for the state, the chief minister said.
The 'Meghalaya Education Policy' has prioritised the education sector, so that the government is able to provide an environment for the students to excel and grow, he said.
In the next six months, the government will roll out a scheme to ensure that infrastructure is created in primary and elementary level schools across the state, Sangma said. PTI JOP MM MM