Major educational reforms coming up: Education Minister

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By Pramod G
IMPHAL, Aug 17: My friend, where are you going? This was a typical question asked by a school going child awaiting his school van along with his parents to one of his friends who he happened to meet by the roadside at a bus waiting shed.

The second child, who looked distressed at seeing his school going friend, replied that he is going for some work to earn money so that he could help his family.

Upon hearing the reply of the child, one parent of another children at the waiting shed asked the boy how old he was and whether he was studying at all.

The child then replied  that he is only 10 years old and he did not go to school as his parents are too poor to afford the money for his studies.

This is a typical scene seen somewhere at a locality in the state and there could be a hundred such scenes elswhere in every nook and corner of the country.

Realising this problem, the Government of India has now enacted the Right to Education Act which will soon be implemented throughout the country, most likely after the end of the current session of the Parliament.

Under this Act, every child in the country till the age of 14 is entitled to free and compulsory education.

Under the same Act, any child who is prevented from studying either by poverty or discrimination could go to a law court over the rights entitled to him.

If any educational institution, whether run privately or by the government, happens to expel students for failing to produce enough money for admission or tuition fee, the chldren could go to law court so as to enable them education under the right to education.

As per the new education Act, all the existing state level board examinations at the Standard X level like the HSLC examination conducted by the BSEM will be abolished. There will be one countrywide common examination at Standard XII under the new Act.

Commenting on this, the state education minister L Jayentakumar said reservations being made in admission to various educational institutions is not controlled by the state government, but by the Central government.

Talking to IFP on the sidelines of the 53rd Foundation Day celebration of SDJM Higher Secondary School at GM Hall Imphal today, Jayentakumar also said a Tripura model of reservation policy could be implemented in Manipur for which the state needs to enact a concrete policy first and make its own plan for reservation.

Regarding quota system being applied in the state with regard to admission to higher and technical education, the education minister stated that this is also not under the control of the state government but the state is following the guidelines of the Central government.

Jayentakumar further stated the state Cabinet will discuss about reservations and existing quota systems  soon.

He also disclosed that a Cabinet meeting in this regard will be convened on August 21.

The education minister also appealed to the teaching community to prepare their students to fight at the national level as an era of education will soon begin where there will be no state level competitions.

The education minister also stated that more emphasis should be given to moral education than the conventional one where only bookish knowledge was learned.