Centralised Admission System is not the Solution

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After the examination result comes the time for admission. The Education Directorate of Manipur has come forward with a new experiment for admission in the higher secondary level. Of all the government higher secondary schools in Manipur only eight schools are being picked out. Namely: Churachand Singh, Ananda Singh, Ram Lal Paul, Johnstone, Tamphasana, Ibotonsana, Model and Lamlong are the eight higher secondary schools that have been picked out from the rest. The previous year saw an influx of students for admission to some of these schools. It resulted in a disproportionate enrollment. Schools like CC, Johnstone and Tamphasana had to admit students much beyond their intake capacity. To a certain measure these schools are considered to be among the ‘elite club’ of government schools. These schools have a legacy in their own right. There is no doubt about it. But now it seems the only legacy that has remained is the name. The reason for preferring these schools is not difficult to understand. These schools are situated within five kilometers radius in Imphal. Except for Lamlong higher secondary and Model higher secondary, the remaining six schools are right in the heart of the Imphal town. Thus these schools are also a favourite place of posting for the teachers. According to the rationale given by the Directorate, the so called Centralised Admission System (CAS)is to bring uniformity in the enrollment of students with respect to the seats available in the said schools. The Directorate in an upbeat tone has apparently announced that there will be no cut-off mark in view of the request made by some guardians. As per the Directorate’s thinking, the new CAS will open doors for infrastructural growth in the selected eight schools. An optimistic picture alongside has also been drawn already that well trained teachers are going to impart education in these schools. Let it be known that the new scheme is like giving dead sentence to the rest of the government higher secondary schools.  By concentrating all its energy and resources to the eight schools, the government is going to starve the rest;needless to mention that most government schools are already at an advanced state of decay. This is nothing but the sign of withdrawal of the state from the education sector. Though the government with all its might would shout from the toproof that they are very much concern about education in the state. The painful truth is that without the centrally sponsored schemes like the SarvaShikshaAbhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid-Day Meal Scheme, the names of the government schools would have already become history. This is simply because the state does not have an education policy of its own. The budgetary allocations for education infrastructure and programmes are too little; as major chunk of the money are spent on teachers’ salary. This is the juncture that the private schools enter into the scenario. They have out-performed the government schools in terms of infrastructure and service delivery. Private schools have filled in the void created by government schools’ deficit both in physical infrastructure and delivery of service. But private schools come with a price. Parents have to spend a good amount of money if they are to send their children to private schools. Therefore, parents with limited means prefer to send their children to government schools. The rush to the above mentioned schools is because the parents have no other options available within their reach. At the same time the CAS flaunted by the Directorate is another ad hoc approach to firefight the multi-systemic failure of the education system in Manipur. With the implementation of the CAS the Directorate is curtailing the administrative role that the authorities of the schools could partake in the overall management of their schools. Academic administration should be best left to the school authorities. Over and above CAS will demoralise all the remaining schools in its functioning and growth. This regressive outlook and practice need rethinking. 

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