Meghalaya meaning “the abode of clouds” is a state in the north eastern part of
the country. It is a very mineral rich state receives the highest national rainfall.
Its capital Shillong, is a very picturesque city and is often called the “Scotland
of the East”. Meghalaya has a diverse tribal population with a very high (70.25%)
Christian majority. It has a matrilineal society. Meghalaya has some of the thickest
primary forests in the country and therefore constitutes one of the most important
ecotourism circuits in India. As per 2011 census the population of Meghalaya was
2.97 million, of which the male population was 1.49 million and female population
was 1.48 million. The literacy rate of Meghalaya was 74.43%, of which the male literacy
is 75.95% and female literacy is 71.88%. The sex ratio of Meghalaya was 989 females
per 1000 males, which are much above the national average of 940.
School Education in Meghalaya
Meghalaya is one state which has heralded the concept of involving the “community”
in an advisory level in the education process at the elementary level. As per the
Directorate of Education there are 6612 primary and upper primary schools, 783 secondary
schools and 112 higher secondary schools in Meghalaya. The ASER points out that
7% of the 6 – 14 age groups are not enrolled. The government has since redressed
the matter after which the education scenario has started to look up. Meghalaya
has pioneered the introduction of Chinese language in its schools. Mid day meals
in schools have to a great extent helped in improving the gross enrollment ratio.
The structure of education in the state, is based on the national level pattern
with 12 years of schooling (10+2+3), consisting of seven years of elementary education,
that is, four years of primary and three years of Upper Primary for the age groups
of 6-11 and 11-14 years, respectively, followed by secondary and higher secondary
education of two years each. The schools in Meghalaya are either affiliated to the
state education board, the CBSE board or ICSE board. English is generally the medium
of instruction in ICSE and CBSE schools in Meghalaya.
Higher Education in Meghalaya
Meghalaya has 3 central universities, 1 state university and 10 private universities.
There are 63 degree colleges, 2 engineering colleges, 3 polytechnics and 7 institutions
of national importance located in the state. Directorate of Higher & Technical Education
plays a very important role in administration, governance and supervision of different
activities relating to Higher Education including College and University Education,
Technical Education, Professional Education and Vocational Education in the State
of Meghalaya. Shillong city has a number of colleges, which provide a great platform
for higher education in the field of engineering, arts and social science, law,
commerce, medical science, journalism etc,. A new National Institute of Technology
and six private universities have also been permitted to open their campuses in
the state. Due to the paucity of industry and employment opportunities aspirants
have to migrate to other cities.
Education in Meghalaya – Future
Too much is happening on the educational front in Meghalaya and it is in a short
span of time rank at par with the other states in proving quality and diverse skills