AAPSU seeks overhaul of health and edn sectors

ITANAGAR, May 15: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Monday submitted a representation to Chief Minister Pema Khandu, seeking one-time grant for overall renovation of the health and educational institutes in the state.
Members of the union had undertaken a statewide ‘education and health survey’ in September last year to assess the health and education sectors, and held an informative meeting in February this year with district students’ unions and students of various higher educational institutes in the state.
Taking serious note of the lamentable condition of the education and health sectors in the state, the AAPSU urged the state government to look into the pathetic condition of the schools and health institutes, and said a one-time grant would cover all aspects in improving the standards of these institutes, which would include proper classrooms, teachers’ quarters, boundary walls, libraries, playgrounds, toilets, drinking water facilities, medical equipment, staff and doctor quarters, etc.
Citing lack of attention from the authorities concerned towards the lone state university (functioning from the JNC, Pasighat campus since its inception), the union sought a one-time budgetary allocation for establishing a full-fledged Arunachal University in Pasighat.
“Survey reports indicated that students also largely suffer due to absence of textbooks in government-run schools. It has also been reported that if funds are made available, they are not released on time, leading to delay in delivery,” the union said.
Lamenting such incompetence, the union demanded regular allocation of funds for textbooks.
On issues of illegal encroachment by unscrupulous elements, the AAPSU sought special provision for covering land possession certificates (LPC) and land allotment charges, with strong directive from the government “for proper demarcation, verification as well as LPC.
“This fund provision should also include special funds to be allotted to the deputy commissioners for carrying out eviction drives in the schools and health centres,” the union said.
The AAPSU also sought closure of all nonfunctioning schools, and immediate sanctioning of all upgraded schools “to prevent wastage of state exchequer.”
The union suggested closing down schools with “single digit enrollment” and shifting the student and teachers concerned to nearby schools.
It also suggested providing a budget for creation of teaching and non-teaching faculties in the government colleges; teachers and other ministerial staffs in upgraded schools; and doctors and other support staff in general hospitals and health centres.
The AAPSU highlighted that the district hospitals in Tezu, Bomdila, Pasighat, Aalo and Ziro, which were upgraded to general hospitals, are also functioning without the requisite number of specialist doctors, heath staff, medicines, life saving equipment, etc.
It pointed out the creation of “mindless” new infrastructure of health and educational institutes without creating or sanctioning adequate posts for them, and called for placing a permanent moratorium on creating adequate posts for new as well as upgraded health and educational institutes.
It also stressed the need for encouraging scholars pursuing research activities in the state or outside, and highlighted the lack of support for research activities by the state government as well as lack of opportunities for scholars. It demanded relaxation in age as well as qualifications for research scholars in teaching jobs.
The union further suggested creating Chief Minister’s Research Fellowship, in line with the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship, for local research scholars pursuing their research in the state or elsewhere in the country.
“If materialised, a strict selection mechanism should be put in place for selection of the beneficiaries under the fellowship in line with the UGC,” it said.
The union also sought starting mass communication, computer application, anthropology, physical education and sociology disciplines in all the government colleges of the state, and initiation of the Chief Minister’s Literary Initiative and Grants to support literary activities in the educational institutions in the state to enhance the scope of learning among students.
The other suggestions of the AAPSU included earmarking a budget for science stream at Donyi-Polo Government College in Kamki, JNC in Pasighat, DNGC in Itanagar, and Indira Gandhi Government College in Tezu; granting of additional allowances to the teachers and doctors serving in remote areas; re-launching the Chief Minister’s Universal Health Insurance Scheme; establishment of a government BEd college in the state (considering that BEd qualification has been made mandatory for teaching jobs); budget for establishment of school for children with special needs; fund provision for district institutes of education & training; provision for solar power in the health and educational institutes; budget for public library; and budget for medical equipment in all the health centres and hospitals.