Shillong, March 3 : In a first of its kind initiative in India, Asian Development Bank (ADB), the financial institution that provides loans, technical support, grants to its 67 member-countries for their socio-economic development, has launched a secondary and higher secondary education reform and skills development project in the north eastern state of Meghalaya. The project being implemented with the help of Meghalaya government seeks to “enhance the physical and learning environment of selected schools, support school management and leadership in improving delivery of secondary and higher secondary (SHS) education, provide information and communication technology (ICT) equipment and materials for more effective teaching and learning and support training of SHS teachers”, an ADB report entitled ‘India: Supporting Human Capital Development in Meghalaya’ said.
The aim is to upgrade the infrastructure of 117 or about 20 per cent of the government aided private secondary and higher secondary schools in Meghalaya to National Secondary Education Mission. Improving the overall learning and teaching environment, improving access for the physically challenged, safety, building additional rooms with facilities like labs, libraries, separate toilets for girls and boys, clean drinking water, better furniture and computers are other objectives of the $125 million project. The project currently under implementation was launched in September 2014 and it is slated to be completed by 2018. This came as a setback to Meghalaya which has envisaged education and skill development for enhanced productivity and employability as a thrust area under its 12th five year plan (2012-2017).