Shillong, Sept 25: The State government has come up with draft guidelines to allow collaboration between the social welfare department and education department for the successful implementation of the Meghalaya Early Childhood Development Mission (MECDM) in the state.
The decision was taken at a joint meeting of the two departments chaired by social welfare minister Paul Lyngdoh and education minister Rakkam A Sangma at the Secretariat on Monday.
Addressing the media, Paul Lyngdoh said, “We have come up with a draft of the guidelines to enable the (two) departments to work on a mode which will allow collaboration.”
Stating that there are a lot of challenges and shortcomings, he said, “Therefore, we need to integrate the effort of these two departments.”
Lyngdoh said during the meeting, a presentation was made by the principal secretary in-charge of social welfare on how the two departments can successfully implement the mission by making joint efforts.
“The challenges include the fact that we have a large number of villages which we call uncovered villages which are yet to be covered numbering about 1,500 such villages are uncovered villages by the social welfare department,” he said while assuring that “In the next one year we will be in a position to construct 600 more such centers.”
He further informed, “On the part of the education department they have a problem whereby you know in the anganwadi centres for instance…once we introduce the ECD mission then we will be introducing use of teaching kits for the youngsters. So the question of space, the question of where whenever the social welfare department doesn’t have centers which are readymade we can make use of school buildings which are in existence.”
“We have tasked the departments to come up with a roadmap and also a convergence mode on how we structure a workable action plan so as to facilitate these departments working in tandem to ensure the success of the mission,” Lyngdoh added.
Meanwhile, the social welfare minister said that the two departments will again sit together to further fine-tune the draft, the guidelines and also the convergence plan.
“Once that is in place then we will be moving to the next level which is to get the support of the Chief Minister for additional financial resources required for the success of the mission,” he said.
According to him, close to a lakh children/students are covered under the ECD programme.
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