Hope floats for venture schools

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  • Published 28.12.06

Dec. 28: Cash-strapped venture schools that aspire to become provincialised institutions — a status that guarantees funds from the government — have a reason to be optimistic. The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is planning to petition Dispur for conversion of all venture schools in the Bodo belt to provincialised institutions.

Replying to a question by member Dandi Ram Rabha during the winter session of the BTC Assembly, the executive member in charge of the department of education, Emanuel Mushahary, said the council would request the state government not only to provincialise primary and secondary venture schools but also appoint more teachers in lower primary institutions.

“Venture schools are being set up by individuals and organisations every year in the BTC belt. The state government should accord recognition and then provincialise these schools if they fulfil the criteria. This will make the schools financially viable,” Mushahary said.

A provincial status enables a school to get financial support from state government. The government bears the salary bill besides extending other benefits to the teachers.

“The BTC is largely dependent on the government for funds. The future of these schools depends on the policy adopted by the government,” the executive member said.

At least two influential Bodo organisations — the Bodo Sahitya Sabha and All Bodo Students’ Union — have been pressing the government to provincialise Bodo-medium schools.

Bodo Sahitya Sabha secretary-general Kamala Kanta Mochahary said that many Bodo medium schools were in a shambles without students and teachers.

“It is unfortunate that we have to fight for Fundamental Rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Our children are studying in about 1,200 venture schools where there’s hardly any educational ambience. Moreover, many provincialised schools are also running without adequate teachers,” he said.

His colleague, president Brajendra Brahma, urged both the state and central government to lift the embargo on appointment of teachers and called for provincialisation of venture schools with special emphasis on Bodo-medium schools.

“The Bodo language is still in the nascent stage of development and the embargo (on appointments) has affected Bodo-medium schools the most,” Brahma said.