Meghalaya Students in relief camps stare at board exams



Shillong: Authorities in Meghalaya are scurrying to ensure that the scores of students displaced in the recent ethnic clash do not miss their ensuing board exams.

According to official estimates, there are over 200 students in the relief camps at Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district and the neighbouring Goalpara district of Assam, who would appear for their class X or XII board examinations slated to begin from the first week of March.

Top officials of the Meghalaya Board of Secondary Education (MBoSE), led by its president, are scheduled to visit the violence-hit Mendipathar area of East Garo Hills district on Thursday and would hold a meeting with representatives of various schools to assess the situation.

They also plan to meet school inspectors on Friday in a bid to chalk out plans to ensure that the students hit by the clashes do not lose an academic year. Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said the board would first make provisions for duplicate admit cards to the students and may consider setting up a special examination centre for the displaced students.

An additional district magistrate of Meghalaya would be visiting Assam's Goalpara on Wednesday where several families have fled in the wake of violence. He would prepare a list of the students taking shelter in the relief camps there, the DC said, adding a similar survey of the students is also being carried out in Meghalaya. About three schools were burnt down by miscreants during the clashes between January 1 and 9 in Meghalaya.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has also asked for a status report of the children in the relief camps. Officials said the commission would pursue aid and assistance from the Centre for these displaced children.

Currently in East Garo Hills district, there are eight relief camps housing 1774 people. Around 8,000 people who have fled to Assam are yet to return and are in relief camps there.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross has also done a survey of the relief camps and is expected to extend aid to the displaced. Ram Krishna Mission is also helping the relief work. The DC said government compensation of Rs 10,000 to each family and CGI sheets would be distributed within a couple of days.

At least 12 people were killed and over 50,000 displaced in the ethnic clashes in both the neighbouring districts of Assam and Meghalaya.

PTI