The Garo Students' Union (GSU) Assam state zone organized a protest meeting against the Assam state government's decision to close down the Gohalkona High School at Gohalkona High School playground under Boko LAC in the Kamrup district of Assam on Tuesday.
Around 1000 people from South Kamrup's Garo villages along with delegates of the Garo National Council (GNC), Garo Sahitya Sabha (GSS), Garo Women Council (GWC), and A'Chik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) took part in the meeting.
It is to be mentioned that Gohalkona High School was established in the year 1948. Earlier it was an MV School that was established in the year 1933. Gohalkona village is 10 kilometers far from Boko and it is a Garo tribal inhabited village.
"This is the only high school in this remote area. Students belonging to the Garo tribe study their higher education after Lower Primary only in this school. Total 191 students in this school from very remote hilly areas including Ukium and other hilly parts of South Kamrup area", told Silna J Sangma, teacher of the Gohalkona High School.
"Last year, a total of 26 students appeared in the HSLC exam from this school, but all of them failed the Class X board examination", she added. When asked her reasons for the failure, she replied that during the covid pandemic situation students failed to study properly. During that time, online classes were going on in other parts of Assam. But in this area, there are no proper internet services, and some students had no smart phones. On the other hand, the school is running with a lack of teachers in many subjects," added Sangma.
Foldin R Marak, President of GSU, Assam zone told, "More than 1000 Garo people are gathered here to protest against the closing of Garo medium school. Government of Assam has already decided to close the Garo medium schools in Assam. It is incredible to smudge Garo medium school. If the existing schools are closed, where will the children of this school study? instead of closing the amalgamating Garo medium schools just try to enforce by appointing more Garo medium teachers in the Garo medium schools. For many years, Government of Assam has been neglecting Garo medium schools and trying to smudge these schools to date. If these things continue like this how can we live in Assam? It's better we merge with Meghalaya than stay with Assam. So today the Garo Student's Union Assam State zone along with the public strongly opposes the closing of Garo medium school. We demand the government of Assam not to close as well as no amalgamating, and no shifting of the existing Garo medium schools in Assam. If the government of Assam doesn't accept our demand we will take another step."
Jonson J Sangma, a villager of the Gohalkona village told, "Gohalkona high school has been formed since long back. The history of the school, in the year 1933, The Gohalkona M V School was established and this is the only school at that time in this area. Many Garo tribal officers who served for the Meghalaya state government were passed from this school only. So the Garo people of this Kamrup and Goalpara area, this is a very proudful school for Garo people. So I request to Assam government to come and visit here once and take a decision whatever they found from this prestigious school."
Hadric D Sangma, President of Kamrup district GSS told, "This school has been established in the year 1948 now it has completed almost 75 years. For the last 4-5 years the result of this school has been moderately good only last year i.e. in the year 2021 the result was zero. This school serves education for the students below the poverty line Garo tribal population of the South Kamrup district bordering Meghalaya state. Closing this school will be a great loss to the poor tribal people. if this school is closed the students i.e. around 191 students admitted here will be at a loss and they will not be able to go anywhere since there is no Garo medium school nearby. So we don't want this school to be closed. So on behalf of the Gohalkona village people, I request the Government to cancel the Cabinet decision which they have taken."
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