IMPHAL, March 12: The Maram Students Union has urged the government to reconsider its decision to impose elementary Manipuri or Hindi in lieu of Alternative.
A statement issued by Pundi Pcelestine, president of the students’ body said BOSEM’s new scheme of study to impose elementary Manipuri or Hindi in lieu of Alternative English as a compulsory subject in Class IX from the academic session 2014-15 and thereafter Class-X has put students in a dilemma especially with the new academic session already begun. “It couldn’t be more ironic for the students whose tribal languages are in the developing processes and yet to be recognized by BOSEM,” it said.
It further claimed that due to lack of manpower (expertise), limited resources and other various layers of difficulties depending from tribe to tribe, despite of the strong urge by respective tribal groups to have school text books in their own mother tongue, the process has always been constrained.
Nevertheless, the government fails to understand that respective tribal literature committees alone are responsible for developing and production of their own mother tongue text books at their own expenses with a meagre financial assistance from TRI, whereas English, Hindi and Manipuri text books are brought out by BOSEM and COHSEM at the State expenses.
Claiming the issue of promotion of tribal dialects is not given the priority it deserves, it contended that the tribal community fails to see the State Government in initiating any measures as per the guidelines of safeguarding the Minority Languages of the Ministry of Minorities Affairs.
Instead, without reflecting the ground situation and difficulty of various tribal literature societies, the Education department has randomly drawn a plan, made a dateline and imposed its doubtful intention to the ignorant tribal students, it asserted.
It said, “While acknowledging the importance of Hindi and Manipuri which are National Language and State Language respectively, imposing the subjects to this section of students at the level of Class IX is tantamount to disproportionate emphasis on rote learning to cover up unrealistic syllabus rather than uncover real knowledge”.
“With equal feelings and sentiments of other affected tribal communities, whose textbooks are on the developing process, Maram Students’ Union urges the State Government to reconsider decision of implementation of the BOSEM New scheme of study for this section of Students”.
Meanwhile it urged the government to provide a certain concession period (say five years) for these tribal groups to come out with standard textbooks in line with prescribed BOSEM syllabus can instil a ‘hope’ of accommodation and avoid feeling of victimization and resentment amongst these communities and further avoid certain elements taking undue advantage of this education issue into another counter-productive ones based on communal line in the already polarized state of Manipur.
This immediate measure will go a long way for the State Govt. ideally claiming guardianship of all students irrespective of backgrounds, it continued.
The Students body urged the State Government to expedite the process of languages approval or else many of the tribal language groups shall not enjoy the equal opportunity to avail the privileges of the mother tongue education in spite of RTE act.