| Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi stands with the winners during an awards ceremony at Chari Maidan in Jorhat on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, Oct. 28: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today heaped praise on community colleges in the US and called for setting up of educational institutions on similar lines to provide quality education in India.
Community colleges (once commonly called junior colleges) in the US are public-funded institutes of higher education that run two-year courses. On completion of the course, the students join a university or college for graduate studies or enter the work force.
Speaking as the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony of the two-day golden jubilee celebrations of Hemalata Handiqui Memorial Institute (HHMI) here today, Gogoi stressed the need to provide quality education to students in order to utilise the vast human resource of the state, thereby achieving progress and prosperity.
He said the community colleges in the United States were doing a “fine job” in this aspect.
“From my several visits to the US, I noticed the important role played by the community colleges in shaping the future of the country by preparing children in becoming productive citizens. Even during the recent slowdown in the US economy, these colleges survived, providing education to children from middle and lower income groups of society,” the chief minister said.
Gogoi said significant changes were taking place in the Indian education system to keep pace with the changing times, and with the Right to Education Act being in place a revolution has been initiated, which is expected to take India ahead of its neighbouring countries.
“We are still behind Thailand, Singapore and China but with the changes taking place I hope we would be better placed as we have a huge young population,” he said.
Gogoi said quality education, according to him, means education that generates employment and contributes to the economic growth of the country.
Stressing that education should be relevant to the present times, Gogoi said it had all the answers to problems — floods, drought, climatic changes, insurgency, rising population, unemployment, health and social matters.
He said sports and games nowadays are part of the education system as one could build a career and earn a livelihood by pursuing various disciplines of sport.
Gogoi paid tribute to educationist K.K. Handiqui, who had set up the institute in the name of his wife 50 years ago when there were no well-known English medium schools in Upper Assam.
The chief minister allotted Rs 15 lakh to HHMI from the chief minister’s fund. He also released the biography of Hemalata Handqui, Mur Aai, on the occasion.
Former DoNER minister and secretary of the managing committee of the institute, Jorhat MP Bijoy Krishna Handique, in his address said the institute has not only served Assam but also the students of neighbouring states. He said a sizeable number of students from Arunachal Pradesh had come to study in the school and, hence, one of the hostels was named Tirap House.
Arunachal Pradesh horticulture minister Setong Sena, who represented chief minister Nabam Tuki as the guest of honour, while lauding the role played by the institute, said his state had benefited a lot as students from several districts bordering Upper Assam had been studying in the school.
Setong said students from Changlang, Lohit and Tirap districts have been studying in HHMI and many are established now. He released the souvenir, Time Present, Time Past, a chronicle of the institute’s history.