Schooling in shambles
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi continues to be bitter at the trust he reposed upon his once ‘blue-eyed boy’. While distributing scholarship certificates among school students recently, Gogoi rued that he had entrusted the Education department, so vital to the future of the upcoming generation, on Himanta Biswa Sarma. After donning saffron and going hammer and tongs at his former party, the BJP leader is now the Chief Minister’s bête noire. But that does not absolve the Tarun Gogoi regime of making a mess of education in the State. Latest figures furnished by the Human Resources Development ministry make disturbing reading, to say the least. The classrooms of nearly 47 percent government schools are in woeful condition; and the less said about the academic atmosphere, the better. About 45 percent of teachers in government primary schools are not trained for the task. The figures shoot up to 87 percent in secondary schools and 90 percent in higher secondary schools. Of the teachers engaged from primary to secondary schools, about 47 percent are not even graduates. It therefore hardly comes as a surprise that the dropout rate at secondary schooling stage has gone up from 26.77 percent to 30.43 percent in just one year from 2012-13 to 2013-14. In a country where right to elementary education has been made a fundamental right, 7.44 percent school students in Assam drop out at the primary stage itself. Such gross wastage of human resources in their tender, formative years cannot be explained away by making a scapegoat of one former minister who has now changed political colours. The morass the State’s school education is wallowing in — merely reflects the utter drift in the 14 years Tarun Gogoi has been at the helm.