Leader Writer: Hrishikesh Angom
The state government should take serious note of the present scenario in higher education sector of the state. The teachers and students of government colleges have been demanding for the upliftment of higher education in the state. The government college teachers under the aegis of Federation of College Teachers’ Associations in Manipur (FECTAM) and the students under the banner of Coordinating Committee of College students’ Unions have taken out different forms of agitations and submitted memoranda containing the charter of demands related to the improvement of higher education to the state government. College teachers are demanding for the implementation of 6th UGC pay scale along with enhancement of age of superannuation up to 65 years, while the students are raising their voices for the improvement of college infrastructures along with filling up of appropriate number of teaching and non-teaching staffs in the government colleges. There have been protest demonstrations urging the state government to fulfill their demands for the last many months. It is the high time for the state government to be responsive to the demands of both the teachers and students as the higher education has been in a deplorable condition for the past many years. The present situation in higher education sector of the state is very much evident from the fact that a large number of students after completing their higher secondary education in the state opt to study outside the state despite of huge financial implications it could leave on the state’s economy.
No doubt the state has got two popular central universities, namely Manipur University and Central Agricultural University where the education system is relatively good. However, the college education which is the backbone of every education system has been a neglected subject in the state thereby creating a large void in the whole education system of the state. The education system up to higher secondary level is somehow fair with a good number of well established government as well as private schools but higher education in the colleges is lacking the essence of education leading to the development of inferiority complex amongst the students of the state. The higher education of the state is again in a different scenario with only some government colleges and few aided colleges imparting education to a section of students who cannot afford education outside the state. The negligence of higher education is a great loss to the state as only those students who get to study outside the state cannot altogether contribute to human resource development of the poor state. It is through good education system that the state is going to reach new heights in development and the state government should chalk out measures to fill the void in the education system by addressing the problems of both the teachers and students of the government colleges. The demands of the teachers and students of the government colleges are rightful in the context of National Education Policy and the state government should take up the needful steps to soothe them at the earliest.
It is through college education that human resource of the state can be developed to a great extent. The colleges in the state have been defunct due to the ongoing cease-work strike of the teachers demanding concrete decisions from the state government on the implementation of revised 6th UGC pay scale. The impasse should be resolved at the earliest in the interest of the students who have been deprived of education on many such occasions in the past.