Govt apprised of deplorable education scenario in E/Kameng

ITANAGAR, Dec 16: The East Kameng Social Welfare & Cultural Organisation (EKSWCO) has informed the state government that the on-ground status of the education sector in East Kameng district is “worrisome.”
The EKSWCO recently conducted the first leg of its ‘education outreach programme’ in Chayang Tajo.
In a report it submitted to the education minister, the organisation said the arrangements in the government schools in the district “are a complete debacle.”
“Without casting any aspersion on the intent of the policy to put the onus of pre-primary education on the anganwadi system, our experience of the prevailing system is tragic, given the fact that the said arrangement in the state government schools is a complete debacle,” it said.
The EKSWCO added: “The result of this failed experiment is a total obliteration of the schooling system in East Kameng district, and perhaps this might be the case for the whole state of Arunachal Pradesh.”
The organisation in its report claimed that, every year, on an average, 2500 students enroll in primary schools in the district without having obtained basic pre-primary education.
“In private schools, children are learning basic reading and writing skills, (but) the students of Class 1 in government schools of the district start with familiarization with rhyming, and Class 2 students learn alphabets and numbers,” the EKSWCO said.
It also informed that of the 480 anganwadi centres (AWC) in the district (including Pakke-Kessang), 99 percent are either defunct or operate irregularly.
“To expect the anganwadi centres to impart basic pre-schooling lessons to young boys and girls is outlandish,” it said.
The organisation added that, according to ICDS department officials, 80 percent of the anganwadi workers are either illiterate or semiliterate, “in a way untrained and unfit to teach pre-school students, and any attempt at replacing them is met with interference from public leaders and the labour union.”
The EKSWCO also reported that in the 20 pre-primary schools in East Kameng and Pakke-Kessang, only 235 students have enrolled themselves in the current academic session. “And out of 20 schools, seven have zero enrollment and nine have less than double-digit enrollment,” it said.
While 10,151 students, from Class 1-8, are studying in various government schools in the two districts (with 8,214 in East Kameng alone), “we are doubtful about the reading-writing skills of these students, given the fact that they are byproducts of the existing AWC-primary school,” the EKSWCO said.
It recommended reintroducing pre-primary education in all government schools and scrapping pre-primary education at anganwadi centres; providing midday meals to pre-primary students in government schools; and banning direct admission to Class 1 without conducting admission test.
The EKSWCO also suggested “clubbing defunct schools by reintroducing the inter-village residential schools system, and establishing model schools (from pre-primary to higher secondary) in Wessang and in Seppa town.”