Education in Sikkim

Education in Sikkim – An Introduction

Sikkim is a combination of two Limbu words meaning “new palace”. It is a landlocked state located nort of west Bengal in the Himalaya Mountains. Sikkim is a land of dramatic contours. Rugged mountains, deep valleys and dense forests consort with raging rivers, lakes and waterfalls, create a visual feast. Arguably one of the prettiest destinations in India, this tiny former Himalayan kingdom is a haven for travelers. The People of Sikkim consist of three ethnic groups, that is, Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali. Hinduism and Buddhism are the prevalent religions. As per 2011 census the population of Sikkim was 0.61 million, of which the male population was 0.32 million and female population was 0.29 million. The literacy rate of Sikkim was 81.42%, of which the male literacy is 86.55% and female literacy is 66.39%. The sex ratio of Sikkim was 890 females per 1000 males, which is much below the national average of 940.

School Education in Sikkim

There has been swift progress of education in Sikkim after its merger with India in 1975. Modern education in Sikkim has helped the emergence of a broad educated new middle class cutting across the boundaries of caste, ethnicity, language and religion. There are 1545 public schools and 471 private schools in Sikkim. The central and state government authorities have also introduced the ‘Sarva Siksha Abhiyan’ to encourage the education of every child in Sikkim, especially the children living in the interiors of the Himalaya Mountains. Sikkim schools start their admission procedures for children who have attained the age of five. A student progresses from primary to secondary school and has to complete twelve years of schooling before attending college. Two board examinations are held in Sikkim; one at the end of class X and the other at the end of class XII. Every school in Sikkim is either affiliated to the ICSE or the CBSE board. The medium of instruction in the schools and colleges of Sikkim is English.

Higher Education in Sikkim

The major renaissance has been in the field of higher education, owing to the fact that the number of colleges being established is to meet to the ever increasing demands of the career-minded pupils. The Sikkim University Bill, 2006, categorically specifies that there should be a university in Sikkim under the name of Sikkim University. Sikkim has one central university, four private universities and one institute of national importance. As per the Directorate of Technical Education, Government of Sikkim, there are 6 undergraduate degree colleges, 6 technical colleges, 1 medical college, 1 law college, and 2 ecclesiastical institutions. Sikkim also witnesses a large number of students from the neighboring countries, Nepal and Bhutan who come to Sikkim to harness their future. Unsurprisingly, Sikkim has won the title of 'Best performing small state in Education' in 2004 and 2005 and also the “Skoch challenger award for best use of Information Technology”. Employment and industrial interface is in paucity in this part of the country due to which students have to migrate to nearby cities where their skills are judiciously deployed.

Education in Sikkim – Future

The resolve of the government is tremendous to bring the education level of the state at par with the national best and it is a matter of a few years when people of Sikkim will have the best of educational facilities within the state itself.

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