It was on June 20 that Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that after he raised his concern over the conditions of Government schools in the State, the Central Government assured that all necessary measures to improve the condition of the Government schools in the State will be taken up.
On paper this sounds impressive but the question of greater importance is whether those engaged as Government teachers are ready to dispense with their duties faithfully to give some life to the Government schools.
The reality at the ground situation was brought to the fore during the surprise inspection drive taken by Ukhrul SDO, Pawan Kumar Yadav when he personally inspected Government schools at Phalee (Phadang) and Somdal village on July 21.
It was a random check conducted only at two villages and magnify this at the level of the 16 districts in the State and the situation will certainly be more bleak.
While the picture at the ground was bleak, what is reassuring was to see that the young IAS officer took it upon himself to personally conduct such an inspection drive and this was something perfectly in line with what Prakash Javadekar announced a month back.
It was also in line with the announcement of Javadekar that the district level officers of Churachandpur district starting from the Deputy Commissioner himself have decided to mentor a school each.
Too early to say whether this step will see the desired results, but the intention behind the campaign is highly appreciated.
It is this spirit which is needed to keep the teachers and all those concerned with the task of imparting education to the children on their toes.
Absenteeism, appointing proxy teachers are all synonymous with Government schools, particularly in the hill districts and it is here that the Government should take the trouble of studying why Government teachers are reluctant to be posted in the far flung areas.
Are adequate accommodation facilities available for the teachers posted in the far flung villages ?
Are teachers from other parts of the State made to feel at home by the villagers where the school is located ?
In other word, are the teachers made to feel safe and secure at the place of their posting ?
These are questions which the people themselves should answer.
Along with the steps taken up at Churachandpur and by a young officer at Ukhrul district, the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), have taken the trouble of submitting a memorandum to the Chief Minister urging him to do all that he can to improve the education scenario in the State.
Time for the Government to take note of the suggestions, the efforts taken up by some officials and the appalling performance put up by students of Government schools year after year and see what steps may be taken up, especially in the hill districts.
Remember too that the teachers who have appointed proxy teachers to teach on their behalf are enjoying free salaries and in most cases, such arrangements could not have been possible without the co-operation of the villages concerned.
These are points which should be kept in mind.
Source: The Sangai Express