Leader Write : Jimmy Leivon
Saturday leader: The subject of “Education” at this era has gone to another height. With the changing of time the subject has been define to be more sensitive issue by think tanks of the world. So sensitive that today it is considered to be more important than “Right to Life”. Even in India the act has become a fundamental right, giving every child between the age of 6 and 14 years the right to free and compulsory education. It was passed by Parliament in December 2002, legally enforceable duty of the Centre and the states to provide free and compulsory education.
However the fate of the students in Manipur is very much in a sorry state. Despite legally enshrined in the constitution, the education department, especially the Education (S), which is the primary body that serves as the main implementing body responsible for enacting various schemes and programmes both state and centrally sponsored, lying in a total retardation, with dirt all over its body.
Apparently the department is sinking in the quickest “quick sand”, if not rectify would jeopardize the fate of lakhs of children. At the same time, losing trust from all section.
There use to be time when outsiders, people from various corners of the country, interested in sending their wards in Manipur for education. The reputation it once enjoyed comparing to what it is today is like a distorted dream.
Leaving aside the embedded history the latest evident event was the recent resignation by a Minister from his portfolio (Education) after being allotted to him for few days. The resignation came after some days the Chairman of the Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BOSEM) was shot inside his own office at highly secure zone. The incident ignited an implication in the mind of the general public. It is informally assumed that the chairman was not killed as an individual but killed for his chair.
Another glaring example of irregularities running inside the department was the issue of recruitment of primary teachers. The issue has led to removal of top brass of the Education (S) department officials nevertheless every now and then the issue resurfaces with some teachers claimed to have been taken part in the DPC threatening stir to declare the results. The reason behind why the Government is adamant to declare the results is also not clear enough to the general public.
The latest hot and happening that really is not relevant with the inter departmental corrupt system but countable for its disturbances giving to the functioning of Government schools jeopardizing thousands of students is the current fast unto death launched by the Council of Teachers Association (COTA) that has been going for months now.
The COTA issue despite not related to scam running under the Education Department but also needs to be addressed equally with the above mentioned implications as the issue had deprived many students of Education with regards to the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act while students who are in the private schools are having the privilege of being sitting inside the classrooms and being taught.
The point is that the education system in Manipur in any was comes under serious attack due irresponsible activities of the leaders both state and non-sate actors. What is the need of the hour is a law or act to prevent such disturbances risking the future pillars of the state what ever the challenges may, to the best interest of the society today and tomorrow. We should always remind ourselves of how sensitive Education has become in the present day.
Moreover to clean up the embedded dirt in the Department that seriously is becoming a set back for administration and stumbling block to revive the sinking department, the scams and irregularities’ case should be handed over to an independent agency like the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Free from all influential hands to seriously settle the score once and for all.