GUWAHATI, Feb 28 - Dr Hitesh Deka, Vice Chancellor of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take special measures to revive the vernacular medium schools of Assam.
Dr Deka has also proposed a special package to bail out the vernacular education sector and said that those Assamese medium schools having a history of a hundred years be declared as heritage educational institutions.
In a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Dr Deka said that due to extensive use of English, labour market preferences and skill engineered orientations, the mother tongue-based education institutions, despite their glorious past, have been facing serious problems, and that the hurdles encountered by these institutions were so strong that the state governments (particularly in Assam) had been forced to close down some of them.
“It is a pathetic situation and a strong indicator of our insensitiveness to our rich diversities in terms of language (or dialect), culture and other patterns of which we are so proud,” he said.
Dr Deka said that with a special financial package for vernacular medium schools of Assam, the Central government could create an atmosphere of deep interest and genuine concern for the people of the State.
“My idea is to devise a mechanism whereby the Central government would create a resource base to the tune of Rs 12,720 crore only to preserve and enhance the state of vernacular medium institutions in Assam. The process involves identification of hundred-year-old schools and colleges and enriching them with latest technology, knowledge, resource and management skills,” he said.
“In Assam, the number of hundred-year-old primary schools is 997, while there are less than a hundred secondary schools. If we can create a fund of Rs 10 crore for each primary school and Rs 25 crore for each secondary school, we can easily create a resource base for heritage institutions and model institutions,” he said.
For 997 primary schools, Dr Deka said, a fund of Rs 9,970 crore will be needed. For less than a hundred secondary schools, the fund requirement will be Rs 2,250 crore. In addition, to hundred-year colleges Rs 100 crore will be needed, and universities will also require a fund of Rs 500 crore.
“The above fragmentation clearly indicates that Assam’s educational sector needs a resource allocation to the tune of just Rs 12,720 crore. This amount once released by the Centre can be effectively taken up by a suitable model or authority to preserve and enrich our cultural heritage and linguistic diversity,” he said.