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Sanbor Shullai defending the indefensible!  


In response to my RTI findings, Mr Sanbor Shuillai, MLA, addressed a press conference on 26th October last for explaining his position. As per your newspaper report (ST Oct 27,2014), he has not touched upon any of the glaring discrepancies in the spending of the MLA funds as revealed by the documents released by the Shillong Municipal Board. I am not surprised that he has tried hard to deflect the charges by giving laughable political explanations. To me, he has only attempted to divert the attention of the people by raising some non-issues. He has made personal comments about those who appeared with me at my press conference, and who are totally opposed to rampant corruption and his autocratic style of functioning as MLA.

In his explanation, Mr Shullai has asked, “What’s wrong about purchasing goods from Sohra or Nongstoin?” Yes, he is at liberty to buy goods from anywhere on earth, if it concerns his personal money. When it involves Government money, he should have adhered to the Government norms. The critical question that arises in my mind is why all the goods were purchased through only one supplier? I thought, K. Lynrah the man who is the beneficiary of the deals made by Mr Shullai, would come out and clear his name. I waited long enough for his clarification and in the absence of it we will have to come to the conclusion that there is no credible firm by the name of K. Lynrah, supposedly a Registered Government Contractor and Supplier located at Kongthong Sohra. The silence of K. Lynrah is a clear evidence that it is a fake firm created by Mr Shullai for filling his own coffers.

If the facts were otherwise, why has Mr Shullai remained silent on the fraudulent manner of withdrawing cash from the Bank Account of the Monitoring-cum-Implementation Committee and purchasing all the goods by cash? Some transactions were as huge as Rs 34 lakh? Will Mr Shullai explain?

His defence of purchasing all items, from sand to computers during the last four and half years, to the lowest bidder is equally laughable. The RTI documents have revealed that while purchasing all items, there were three common bidders. These are: 1. K.Lynrah of Kongthong, Sohra. 2. B.Khongsit of Mawkdok (near Sohra) and 3. M/s R.Shabong of Kongthup Sohra. Invariably, K.Lynrah was the lowest bidder in all the cases. How will Mr Shullai explain that all the bidders were from Sohra? Why did not approach the authorised dealers located in Shillong or Guwahati? Is it not because he cannot manipulate the vouchers to compromise on price, quantity and quality of goods purchased?

Besides, Mr Shullai’s brave attempt at giving a political spin to the RTI revelations does not hold water. In a democracy it is the duty of the political opponents to expose all wrong deeds and swindling of public funds. In exposing him thoroughly, I have merely done my duty as a clean and upright political activist. To say that I am “jealous” is childish. By offering a political explanation to an essentially economic offence, Mr Shullai has unwittingly admitted that he has been caught pants down!

Through RTI I had posed a challenge to Shullai to come clean. Instead of offering convincing explanation, he has started using familiar diversionary tactics and this time it is not going to work for him. As they say, “You can fool some people all the time, some people for some time, but not all the people all the time.” We are now absolutely sure that everybody has seen through Mr Shullai’s game. The writing on the wall is, “His time is up!”

Yours etc.,

Banri Kupar Wahlang,


Necessity to Set up  Board Exams  in Classes V and VIII


As a teacher  I am worried about the education system in Meghalaya and the SSLC results we get year after year especially from Garo Hills. As teachers, we give our best to impart knowledge and quality  education to our students but after all the hard work, we get to see a poor pass percentage every year. We are also disillusioned that our students are faring so badly in their SSLC exams. What could be the possible reason for the poor results in Garo Hills?

Garo Hills has a mixture of  schools like Deficit system, Government aided Schools and Private Schools. The Private schools always shine with good result over the years but students in Government aided or Deficit schools don’t seem to cope. The students who attend these schools are economically backward. and many are forced to attend school. Hence their interests and concentration level is also low. This is due to lack of proper foundation in their early schooling. Also they don’t  get any support at home as parents are not educated and cannot supervise and care for them. For such children going to school is just killing time. Their early schooling is the villages was in poor settings with inadequate  teachers. They are promoted from one class to another without any guidance and preparation.  Even when they fail in four or five subjects they are promoted to a higher class because it is the done thing or because teachers feel sorry for them.  When these students join urban schools they have not acquired enough knowledge and understanding to cope up with the syllabus. They fail in the same classes for many years. Some schools promote them out of concern but without monitoring whether they can cope with the upper classes. When they reach class X, even in the pre- selection , they fail in more than 4 subjects but teachers and school authorities push them to sit for the final exam thinking that they should be given a chance.

While it is good to have such consideration, nobody cares how these students would fare in their final examinations. Most students do not even understand the questions. Hence the p.oor SSLC exams results! Yet when the result come out, everybody questions the teachers and the schools.  As a concerned teacher I truly want my students to do well in their exams and check the poor pass percentage in Garo Hills.  So why can’t we set up board exams in class V and class VIII for the students to gradually progress?  Those coming from rural backgrounds will also benefit even if their rural schools have not done much for them.

So if we set up one board exam when they reach class V, we will be able to monitor and train our students who are not able to cope up with the school system before sending them to higher classes. When they reach class VIII, there must be another board exam to finally check whether they are capable of sitting for the SSLC.  They can be given remedial teaching to prime them up for the SSLC exam. I really wish the policy makers make this change in the system so as to be able to bring about better results in the future.

   Yours, etc, …

Benjo Marak

 Araimile, Tura


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