Monday, April 27, 2015

96 more inducted into the Chief Minister’s Merit Scholarship Scheme

It was heartening to see the smiling and excited faces of the 96 meritorious students who have been selected for the Chief Minister’s Merit Scholarship Scheme for the academic session 2015. These 96 were selected from the state-wide selection exam conducted for interested students passing out from class V from government schools in Sikkim this year. They will now be sent on all expenses paid scholarships to premier schools across the country and in Sikkim. On Thursday, 02 April, the Counselling and Allotment of seats for these students was held at Chintan Bhawan on Thursday, and occasion when Chief Minister Pawan Chamling also interacted with the students and wished them well for the new futures they were embarking on so early in their lives.
Remarkably, this year, girls have substantially outperformed boys in the merit list, continuing a trend which has now become the norm with almost all competitive exams in Sikkim. This year, 57 girls figure in the list of 96 against the 39 boys who has also made it in. Aptly, the topper is also a girl this year - Anita Subba of Bering JHS. This is the sixth year of the scheme and with the latest list of 96, the total number of Sikkim students studying on full state scholarship at public schools within and outside Sikkim now stands at 720. As per department officials, the State Government was now spending around Rs 15 crore per year on these students. 
Seats have been allotted at six reputed public schools each in the State and outside. The schools for these meritorious students outside the State are Pinegrove School, Scindia School, Aryan School, Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Shigally Hill International Academy and DPS, while schools in the State are Tashi Namgyal Academy, St Xavier’s School, Don Bosco School, Namchi Public School, St Joseph School and St Mary’s School.
Sharing his experience as a student enrolled under this scheme at St Xavier’s School-Pakyong, Muksam Limboo, thanked the CM on behalf of all beneficiaries of the scheme and highlighted that the scheme has provided a great platform for students who would have otherwise not received such opportunities to learn at reputed schools. Similarly, Namkit Lepcha, who is presently studying at St Joseph School Martam, expressed that she has been receiving quality education and opportunities to excel in more fields than just academics. “It was not possible for a girl like me from a remote area to study in such a good school if the CM had not started this scheme,” she expressed.
On the occasion of counselling and allotment of seats, the Chief Minister congratulated the selected students on behalf of the State Government, teachers, students and people of Sikkim. He also expressed his best wishes for their bright futures.
In his address, the CM highlighted that Sikkim was the only State with such a unique scheme and explained that it was envisaged as an opportunity to ensure that meritorious children from economically weaker families received an opportunity to study at the best educational institutions of the country. The idea behind the scheme, he reiterated, was to ensure that no academically gifted and hardworking child in Sikkim had to scale down on his/ her dreams to study in the best of schools.
“Through such unique and innovative initiatives the State Government also wanted to encourage and motivate students to study well and become more competitive. At the same time, we also wanted to encourage parents and teachers to prepare their children even better for the competition by playing responsible roles on their side,” he said. 
He expressed that the scheme has been successful in fulfilling the desire and dreams of those parents who wanted to send their children to the best of schools but unable to do so due to financial constraints even when their wards were academically sharp to secure admission on merit.
On the selection of more girls this time, the CM congratulated the girl students. He added that women have been doing well and were ahead in many areas in the State.
He encouraged the selected students to study well and adjust themselves in their new schools and environment. He urged them to continue to perform and study well and help build a good impression of Sikkim at their respective places. 
“It is important for people to understand that the State Government has now made all arrangements for Sikkimese students to get the best education up to College and University levels and now it is fully upon the students and their parents to take their education to higher levels,” he said.
He also urged them to make the best use of all programmes and schemes of the State Government in the education.
The CM stated that the future of Sikkim depends on the education system and its quality. “We have been working hard to make our education system world class to create capable and employable human resource from the State,” he shared.
He also shared that his target was to increase the seats in the scholarship to 1,000 per year. However, he added that to increase the seats the level of education in the primary sections will also have to be increased. On the same, he urged everyone to works collectively and responsibly for the continuing success of the scheme. 
He also directed the HRDD to immediately take out the result of the selection test from next year onwards for the convenience of the students to join schools in time.
The CM mentioned that the State Government has been working towards strengthening the education system, and on the same, announced to introduce Classes LKG and UKG in Government schools from the next academic session onwards. He also assured to provide full administrative and financial powers to Principals and Headmasters.
The occasion was also addressed by the HRDD Minister RB Subba, HRDD Advisor OT Lepcha, and had begun with a welcome address by HRDD Principal Secretary GP Upadhyaya.

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