History, Origin and Evolution
Location: St. Thomas Higher Secondary School is located at Pyndengumiong, Mairang town, the Headquarter of Eastern West Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya. It is about 42 Kms away from Shillong (State Headquarter). There are six banks, one post office, two hospitals, one CHC, six Secondary Schools ,two Higher Secondary Schools, three colleges within 300 meters from the Police Station and the market. Pyndengumiong village is at the heart of “Ka Hima Nongkhlaw Syiem Ship”a kingdom where our Great Freedom Fighter ‘ U Tirot Sing Syiem’ was one of its rulers. The market ‘Ka Iew – Langstieh’, the biggest market in Khasi and Jaintia Hills is just 200 mts away from St. Thomas complex. It lies at the foot hills of two famous Hill locks ie ‘ U lum Maralong and ‘ U Lum Tep Hati’, where the Catholics have erected a cross on top of U Lum Tep Hati and renamed it as ‘U Lum Calvary’. In and around Pyndengumiong village, where St. Thomas Higher Secondary School is situated, there are many tourist spots, like ‘U Lum Kyllang’ (Kyllang Rock) at Mawsmai village is the biggest and highest rock in Meghalaya, Ka Phan Nonglait water fall at Nongrmai village, The Khudoi Waterfalls at Sohtyngkhur village in Laitdom area, ‘Ka Krem Tirot’ (Tirot Sing Cave) at Nongkhlaw village, the birth place of ‘U Syiem Tirot Sing and many more tourist spots, where many tourists from within India and abroad make their visits many times.
Condition of Life: Before 1972, the life of the people in Mairang was difficult. They were poor and illiterateand majority of the people were wild and illiterate. There were very few schools in the area. The only school in the village was ‘ Ka Skul Rit’ a village L.P. School of Pyndengumiong village. Another school nearby was Mairang Christian High School, Mairang Mission and it was the only High School in the Hima Nongkhlaw Syiem Ship.
Seeing the urgent need of the people of Mairang for Education and better livelihood the Catholic Mission of the Arch –Diocese of Shillong –Guwahati,under Late Fr. Carmelo Attard SDB, the Parish Priest of Marbisu (at that time Mairang was under Marbisu Parish), bought a plot of land at Pyndengumiong to open a school. Thereafter in the year 1972 established the Parish and School. Late Fr. Albinus Iawphniaw was appointed as the Parish Priest and Late Fr. Chittoor Varghese as an Assistant Parish Priest. Since the village had started a L.P. School with very few students, the M.E. School was the need of the hour. The Catholic Mission then opened M.E. School in the year 1972 itself. The name of the school was St. Thomas M.E. School, Pyndengumiong, Mairang.
With the establishment of the school, the following personalities were the pioneers of St. Thomas Higher Secondary School. The founding Managing Committee Members were:
1. President / Chairman : Rev. Fr. Albinus Iawphniaw
2. Secretary / Headmaster: Rev. Fr. Chittoor Verghese
3. Members: Shri Odell Lyngkhoi
Shri Carolus Elley Kurbah
Smt. (Dril) Dorothy Karmuti
The First Group of Teachers were: 1. Shri Carolus Elley Kurbah
2. Shri Brixius Marwein
3. Smt. Rosa Mystica Mairom
In February 1973, the government had granted the permission for the opening of M.E. School (Khasi Section). Late Fr. Albinus Iawphniaw was the pioneering Headmaster and Sr. Pushpa George as Assistant Headmistress. Eight students got enrolled and one teacher from the local population was appointed.
As years rolled on, the Diocesan Priests with rich experience in the field of education felt the need of raising funds to the Catholic Mission and therefore conceived the idea of starting English section to Christian students in particular and others in general. The idea took concrete shape in 1977 when English Section was opened and started with class K. G. Initially the school fees was thirteen rupees (Rs. 13/-) only. The first batch of the English Section to appear the HSLCExamination was with seventeen (17) students in the year 1988. Fourteen (14) students passed that was a great success. Two students namely, Smti Maybe Basaiawmoit and Smti Thesiana Lyngdoh Marshillong got First Division. At that time Fr. Luke T.E. was the Headmaster and Sr. Mary Sebastian the Assistant Headmistress.
Under the recommendation of the Inspector of Schools, East and West Khasi Hills in January 1979, classes VII and VIII were recognized as St. Thomas Proceeding High School.
Subject to regularisation by the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE), St. Thomas M. E. School was permitted to open Classes IX and X in 1981,in the following year in1982, it received provisional recognition in which students were permitted to appear HSLC Examination as regular candidates in Mairang. Mairang Presbyterian School was selected as the centre of examination, which is in close proximity to St. Thomas Higher Secondary School. In 2013 the school was made the centre for SSLC Examination by MBOSE.
For about 12 (twelve) years, the school really struggled to maintain itself. In 1984, under the recommendation of the Inspector of Schools, St. Thomas M.E. and High School was amalgamated and hence attained Deficit status with 18 (eighteen) deficit post. As of now the school is awarded with 21 (twenty one) teaching posts and 3 (three) non teaching posts under deficit grant.
Being a full bloomed High School, the enrolment in the school increased and the percentage of the students passing the Board Examination improved. At present (2019) there are 1638 students enrolled.
In order to cope up with the rising demand of this age of Information Technology the school started Computer Education as a subject in 1994.Two teachers were appointed for teaching computer and were paid by the management.
In 1996, the school opted for 10 +2 (Higher Secondary) Arts Stream under MBOSE. Class XI (Arts) was started in June 1997. The first batch of students took admission on 6th August 1997.Late Fr. Cornelius Khriem was the the Principal and Sr.Rina Marbaniang the Vice Principal. Five students who had just passed SSLC from St. Thomas High School got enrolled, two girls and three boys. These students appeared in HSSLC Examination in 1998 and the result was 100%.
In the same year Higher Section was upgraded to deficit status with five sanctioned posts. The then Principal Late Fr.Cornelius Khyriem was the Education Teacher.
In January 2003 class I to V ( Khasi Day Section )came under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). Two teachers were appointed under SSA Adhoc Grant.
The school is able to offer a rich variety of facilities to its students both in curricular and co-curricular activities. Co-curricular activities include Sports, School Week and Picnics. Students take active part in debates, quiz, singing, dancing, drawing, painting, cultural and science programme in district, state and national levels.
Over the years the school has a good record of a number of Toppers in the SSLC Examination namely Ignatius Ryntathiang secured 7th position from Tribal List in 1999, Pavel Barman First Position in Top Ten list in 2001, the twin brothers Noel Pyndaplang Lyngdoh Mawphlang 8th Position Tribal List and Pynbianglang Lyngdoh Mawphlang 10th Position Tribal List in the same year in 2010, Maitphangnaki Rani secured 13th Position among the Top 20 in 2011. And Bantyngshain Lyngdoh Nongbri 19th Position in 2019, Shubhankit Kumar Singh 16th position 2020, Kevin Strong Lawriniang First Position in Top Ten twenty 2021 and Queen Ann Annabel Basaiawmoit 10th position in the Top 20 list 2021.
Once established the school recorded a slow but steady growth of pupils over the first decade. As the years rolled on, the school expanded physically, the campus was enlarged, new buildings were erected. The present extensive and attractive building is a living witness to its growth over the years.
Learning outcome or evaluation: The school conducts two formative and two Summative assessments in the academic year which carry 20 marks and 80 marks respectively. After each assessment there is Parents Teachers Meeting, answer scripts are shown to the parents. In the Parents Teachers Meeting (PTM) parents receive clear and useful information about their children’s achievements and school happenings. The school enjoys positive levels of parent’s involvement and community support. The school maintains the Record Register for all assessments. Incentives in various fields such as general proficiency, co- curricular activities and sports are awarded to the students for their performance.