Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on March 11 said the state government has started dovetailing contemporary education with cultural learning through ‘gurukul-type’ institutions in line with the education system in Rama Krishna Mission (RKM) schools and Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas.
Inaugurating the newly created infrastructure – administrative block (Saradananda Bhawan), academic block (Vivekananda Bhawan), activity block (Nivedita Bhawan) and Jambey Tashi Science Laboratory – of the Rama Krishna Mission School at its permanent campus at Lumdung in East Kameng district, Khandu said enough provisions are being kept in the budget for supporting such institutions with the first one established at Rang village near Seppa in East Kameng.
“Similar Gurukul has also been established in Lower Subansiri district and at Basar in Leparada district while more are in the pipeline at Pasighat and in Tirap,” he said.
Khandu reiterated the state government’s commitment to overhauling the education scenario of the state.
“Earlier we had less number of schools but the quality of education was exceptional. As time passed we started establishing schools randomly, which may be due to political compulsions. Till last year we had at least 3000 government schools across the state. On closer inspection, we found that several were defunct and several had zero enrollment. We were forced to close down about 700 schools to date. Today, we are concentrating on running schools with proper infrastructure, the sufficient number of teachers as well as students providing quality education,” he also said.
Khandu lauded the exceptional quality of the buildings and credited the secretary of the school Swami Sarvagananda for personally monitoring the execution of the infrastructure.
On a lighter note, he said that engineers of the government’s working departments ‘need to learn a lesson or two from the Swamijis on maintaining supreme quality on tight budgets’.
Hailing the establishment of RKM in Lumdung, East Kameng that will cater to the people of the western sector of Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu observed that it was long overdue.
“The central sector got the first RKM school at Aalo in 1966 and the eastern sector got it’s at Narottamnagar in 1972. The dream of the people of the western sector to have its share of a quality institution like RKM has been now fulfilled,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the people of Lumdung for donating land free of cost for the establishment of the school and giving the school authorities a free hand in the creation of school infrastructure.
“We (the people of western Arunachal) lost out on getting quality RKM education. But we need to provide this opportunity to the next generation,” he remarked.
Khandu pointed out that due to the proactive support of the central govt, the revenue generation of the state has witnessed rapid growth. He said this has enabled the state government to invest on sectors like education, health, connectivity, etc.
He informed that since 2018, the government has spent Rs 36.75 crore on the establishment and development of the Lumdung RKM.
“We will be developing this school up to the higher secondary level, for which government will provide sufficient funds. In this year’s budget, we have allocated Rs 29.3 crores for the school as grants-in-aid,” he informed.
Acknowledging the role of RKM schools in providing quality education to the youths of the state, Khandu revealed that this year Rs 7 crore grants-in-aid has been allocated for the school at Narottamnagar.
“I had assured construction of a Golden Jubilee Hall at RKM Narottamnagar worth Rs 10 crore. This year we have sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the same. Another Rs 6 crore has also been sanctioned for the construction of a boys’ hostel in the school. And for RKM Aalo, Rs 2 crore for improving the internal roads and Rs 5 crore for construction of new staff quarters have been sanctioned,” he revealed.
Present on the occasion were Swami Gautamananda, vice president Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Bodhasarananda, assistant general secretary Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Sarvagananda, secretary Ramakrishna Mission School, Lumdung, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju, a local legislator and state cabinet minister Mama Natung, education minister Taba Tedir, MLAs Tsering Lhamu, Phurpa Tsering, Kumsi Sidisow, Dongru Siongju, Dorjee Wangdi Kharma, Tapuk Taku, Hayang Mangfi, Goruk Pordung, BR Wahge and Ojing Tasing and chief secretary Dharmendra.
Later in the evening, the chief minister along with Rijiju and others inaugurated the three-day inter-tribe youth festival – Yuva Samanvay.
He also unveiled the statue of ‘Ato Ringso’, great grandfather of the Natung clan and inaugurated the convention hall named after him.