On May 10, the academic year of 97 newly established model high schools in Assam’s tea garden areas, as well as 13 other new model high schools across the state, will begin, according to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Moreover, the Chief Minister also stated that high schools have been established in tea garden areas in Assam for the first time after 75 years of India’s independence.
“There are 800 tea gardens in the state, but we had no schools there. They were only till elementary level. For the first time after 75 years of the country’s independence, we have decided to formally start around 100 new 10+2 high schools in tea garden areas of the state from May 10,” CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The government of Assam’s initiative on the construction of 119 model high schools in tea gardens.
At a ceremony held at Mekipur Tea Garden playground in Nazira, Sivasagar district, Former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone for the construction of 119 model high schools in the state’s tea gardens.
As part of the initiative, the Assam former chief minister also ceremonially launched the construction of model high schools in Mekipur and the Bamunpukhuri tea gardens in Nazira.
“Tea Garden community is an integral part of greater Assamese society and the community has contributed immensely to Assam’s socio-cultural development,” Sonowal said while addressing the programme.
In addition, he said, “The community, which has embraced Assam and Assamese as their own and assimilated into Assamese society, must be enabled to reap benefits of equal development.”
Moreover, PWD will spend Rs. 1.20 crore on each of the model high schools, and a total of Rs. 142.50 crore has been allotted from the SOPD fund for 2020-21 for the entire project.
The schools will be equipped with modern classrooms, teachers’ restrooms, entrance gates, and separate toilets for teachers and students, and are expected to significantly improve the academic situation in the state’s tea garden areas.
According to Sonowal, the initiative of laying the foundation stone for the construction of 119 model high schools in Assam’s tea gardens has become possible as part of the state government’s efforts to develop all Assamese communities equally.
The model schools, he said, will aid the tea garden community’s educational development, which has been present in Assam for nearly 200 years.
CM’s Initiative for a successful model for the country
During an orientation programme at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati, the Chief Minister told principals and teachers of newly established model high schools in tea garden areas that the state government took the step of setting up 119 Model High Schools, out of which 97 schools have been completed and academic sessions for the year 2022-23 will begin in these schools.
“Remaining 22 model high schools in tea gardens areas will be made functional from next academic year. Moreover, the state government is going to set up another 81 model high schools in tea gardens areas and the newly established model high schools will be upgraded to higher secondary schools. Apart from mid-day meals, the government is planning to provide breakfast to students at these schools,” Mr Sarma said.
Mr Sarma went on to say that in tea garden model high schools, two types of teachers are currently employed.
Furthermore, he explained that while one set of teachers is recruited specifically for these schools, another set is transferred and posted at these schools from already provincialized schools.
“You have this opportunity to be a part of history while it is being created as this initiative is not only unique but also unprecedented,” Mr Sarma said.
Adding that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the teachers of the model high schools to contribute meaningfully to the upliftment of the tea garden population who had been neglected for years.
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma also urged principals to devote themselves to transforming tea gardens model high schools into ideal educational institutions and requested that the Inspector of Schools visit these schools on a regular basis to support and guide the teachers and students.
Sarma also stated that because many TET teachers with postgraduate degrees work in Primary and Middle Schools, the government intends to allow them to join Model High Schools in Tea Gardens areas if they are willing to devote their service to the betterment of education and the welfare of Tea Gardens residents.
They will, however, continue to be paid at the level of their previous position, he said, adding that this will provide them with more exposure.
The Assam Chief Minister stated that the state government intends to develop this initiative as a successful model for the rest of the country to follow and that to that end, he will meet with the principals of these schools again in three months to gain a better understanding of their experiences and to develop a roadmap for future efforts.
He also stated that the state government is working toward establishing one Model School in each of the state’s assembly constituencies.