Obvious that the competition is not only amongst the students. With the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BOSEM) announcing the results of the HSLC 2016 exam, a number of private schools have started offering freebies to the bright and meritorious students. Some have even offered monthly stipend to the amount of Rs 8,000. It is not only the stipend, but bright students, who managed to get into the top 25 positions are being offered free admission, free bus service, free school uniform, free coaching for pre-medical and engineering tests, free reference books etc. Cash incentives have also been announced by some institutes going to the extent of Rs 1 lakh. Not bad for meritorious students should be encouraged and their hard labour should be rewarded. The choice before the position holders is therefore unlimited and they can choose and pick the institutes in which they would like to pursue higher studies. A huge change this is, for such freebies were unheard of some years back. How the students choose to spend their hard earned prizes is up to them, but this should not obscure the fact that it is hard work that really pays off in the end. The race to attract the best students and this is where it becomes clear that competition is no longer amongst the students but also amongst institutes and this is healthy. So while institutes have jumped into the fray to tap the best students available, has the right ambience been created for the young students to pursue their studies without hindrance ?
This is a relevant question in the backdrop of the fact that students are being asked to take part in matters which are strictly adult affairs. The classroom is the place where students should be and not the streets to lodge a protest or two. This is about society and while schools are trying to attract the best students possible, the question that arises is how about the average students ? With all the freebies that are being put on offer to the meritorious students, the question that arises is from where the resources are going to come. Natural that such a poser should be raised for no institute can run at a loss. The competition amongst the privately run institutes is there for all to see now and this raises a question of what the Government is doing. What plans are the State Government working on to improve the quality of institutes under it ? How about education at the college level ? Has the Government given any thoughts on why thousands of students go outside the State to pursue their higher education ? This question is also important to the numerous civil society organisations. It is also time to question whether teachers in private schools are being paid well or not.