Protest against abolition of Additional English paper in hill districts

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KANGPOKPI, March 29: As part of the student rally organised on Saturday in all hill district of the state against deletion of Additional English by BOSEM from the syllabus, a massive student rally has also been organized at Kangpokpi by All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) and Sadar Hills Private Schools Association (SHPSA).

Student from various educational institutions in and around Kanggui step out from their respective class rooms to take on the road to lodge their protest against the non inclusion or deletion of Addl English in the academic syllabus from the current session by Board of Secondary Education Manipur.

The rally began at around 11 am Saturday morning from Brig. Thomas Ground Kanggui and proceeded towards the office of Addl DC, KANGGUI where representatives of the organisers submitted a memorandum to the Addl DC to be submitted to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi.

More than 500 student participated in the rally where they shouted slogans like “Congress Govt; Anti Tribal” and “Don`t discriminate tribal rights”, etc.

They also hold placards which read “BOSEM Education Policy is Discriminating”, “No Discrimination in Education”, “Dropping Addl English is biased”, “Don`t impose Manipuri on Tribal” etc.

Speaking on the sidelines of the rally, Ngamkhohao Haokip, President Sadar Hills Private Schools Association lamented that BOSEM has committed a grave mistake by not including or deleting deliberately Additional English from the syllabus from this academic session while adding that all other boards in the rest of the country adopt Additional English except Manipur.

He continued that education is such a complicated issue and only experience and well qualified educationist must occupy the hot seat of the chairman and secretary of BOSEM adding that the Government’s appointment of a retired police officer as Chairman of BOSEM itself is condemnable.

The SHPSA chief further asserted that it is not the government schools but the private schools which produce good and brilliant students and it is the contribution of private school which made it possible for BOSEM to survive but the Government as well as the board is neglecting the private schools.

Almost every notification of BOSEM usually is published only in Manipuri edition papers which tribals hardly subscribe and read. Such activities of BOSEM amounts to denying the tribals their right to information, added the SHPSA president.

Alleging BOSEM of making intentional mistakes in tribal students name to earn extra money from correction of their names despite the school authorities concerned from the hills submitting the names of the student correctly by computer prints along with soft copy, he noted that no official communication/circulation has ever been served to the private schools nor has they been consulted when programs and policies are framed even though at the time of financial requirements the private school are expected to contributed generously. He also added that the Board think that they are dealing only with principals but have totally forgotten that they are dealing with the future of the students.

The memorandum jointly signed by ATSUM president Emboi Serto, its secretary Marahang Ngiimai and SHPSA president Ngamkhohao Haokip demands the inclusion of Additional English in the BOSEM syllabus until a comprehensive policy is framed for tribal languages; equal treatment for all Private and Government schools both in Hills & Valley; selection of efficient educationist as Chairman and Secretary of BOSEM and inclusion of tribal experts in setting question papers.

The memorandum further stated that if the demands are not seriously and meticulously look into the tribal people will be compelled to demand for a Separate Board for Hills.

In the meantime, ATSUM has registered a strong condemnation against the harsh words of Ukhrul SP towards the students who participated in the rally at Ukhrul.

The student body urges the SP and other men in uniform as well as other individuals to not create unnecessary inconveniences to the students who took a bold initiative for the welfare of the student community and instead to cooperate in the interest of the future of students.

Meanwhile,demanding the rollback of the BOSEM’s new scheme of study that deleted an additional English subject by introducing subjects of language papers in the course of studies in the Curriculum and Syllabus in Class IX from the academic session 2014-15 and  in class X  the next year, thousands of school going students of the district on Saturday bunk their classes to take part in a rally organized jointly by Chandel District Private School Association (CDPSA) and All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) at Japhou bazaar.

The protestors raised placards on which ‘Give students Right to Choose Subjects, ‘BOSEM Don’t Harass Minority Students’, ‘Stop Language Invasion’, ‘Restore Additional English in Class IX and X’ were written as they proceeded from Mini Indoor stadium towards DC Complex where a memorandum addressed to the CM of Manipur O Ibobi Singh was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of Chandel, Th Chittaranjan Singh.

A copy of the memorandum which was jointly signed by President ATSUM, Emboi Serto, President of CDPSA, TS Ngamwar and General Secretary ATSUM, Marahang Ngiimai was also forwarded to Education Minister, Chairman of HAC, Chief Secretary, Manipur and Chairman of BOSEM.

The memorandum demanded for inclusion of Additional English subject in the Curriculum and Syllabus until a comprehensive policy is framed for tribal languages. Equal treatment of all private and government schools (hills and valley), provide teacher for MIL under government of Manipur, Reimbursement of 25% of admission and school fees as per RTE, Act. 2009.

It is also demanded that every notification of the board should be published in all leading newspapers. Exemption of late fines, correction fees for spelling mistakes and date of birth, separate counter for submission of forms/fees/books for schools of the hills, annual consultation with all heads of the school, formulation of long term policy in consultation with tribal educationist, organizations, School and sufficient language teachers in all the valley and hills are also mentioned in the memorandum.

Naga Students’ Union Chandel taking part in the rally submitted a separate memorandum wherein protection of tribal students’ right and respect the students choice of subjects, grant-in aid to the Tribe whose languages remained un recognized by BOSEM for development of language, utilization of Govt school teachers in Private schools after identifying the performance of the govt schools in the district were highlighted along with the major demand of inclusion of Additional English in the new scheme of studies as well. It cautioned the BOSEM to look into the matters seriously and meticulously otherwise tribal people will demand for separate board for Hill.

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