PASIGHAT, October 25 – Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu declared today that all government schools in Arunachal Pradesh established before Independence will be designated as ‘Heritage Schools.’ This initiative aims to preserve the rich history of these educational institutions and provide them with special attention for infrastructure development.
The announcement came in response to a request by the organizers of the Platinum Jubilee celebration of the Government Secondary School, Balek. Established in 1946 as a Lower Primary school, this institution is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
During the opening of the Platinum Jubilee celebration, Chief Minister Khandu expressed his enthusiasm for the request, stating, “This is one of the best requests that I have come across. Not only this school but all pre-Independence government schools in the state will be declared as Heritage Schools with a museum showcasing its rich history.”
Responding to another request, Khandu directed the Deputy Director of School Education (DDSE) of East Siang to submit a formal proposal for upgrading the school to a higher secondary school.
He highlighted the significance of this milestone, given that Arunachal Pradesh became a union territory in 1972 and a full-fledged state in 1987, while the Balek school has been educating generations for 75 years.
While recognizing the growth of government schools in the state from a mere 3-4 before Independence to over 3000 today, Khandu emphasized the need for quality over quantity in education.
Khandu blamed the proliferation of schools lacking proper infrastructure and manpower on ‘politics of appeasement’ and emphasized his government’s focus on the quality of education rather than the quantity of schools. He noted that some underperforming schools with zero attendance had been closed, with ongoing efforts in this regard.
The Chief Minister stressed the importance of School Management Committees (SMCs) in ensuring the proper functioning and development of schools, encouraging members to regularly interact with teachers, students, and parents, and report any requirements to the concerned DDSEs.
During the 3-day Platinum Jubilee celebration, Khandu urged the school’s alumni, gathered for the occasion, to discuss ways to enhance the quality of education in government schools and provide suggestions to the government.
The day’s events included the unveiling of a bust of late Ketem Yomso, who donated the land for the Balek school, inauguration of a retrofitted school gate, and a tree plantation drive. Additionally, 10 meritorious alumni of the school were felicitated, and several development projects were inaugurated.
The Chief Minister also announced the construction of a new market on land donated by locals in Pasighat. Notable attendees at the event included MP Tapir Gao, MLAs Kaling Moyong, Ninong Ering, Lombo Tayeng, Gum Tayeng, Talem Taboh, Ojing Tasing, Kanggong Taku, and officials from the district administration.