Imphal, Aug. 29: Manipur High Court has directed all zonal education officers in the state to submit a report on the present status of all government schools in their respective jurisdictions within two months.
A two-judge bench of Justices N. Kotiswar and N. Nobin issued the directive on August 22, acting on a public interest litigation filed by Ngangom Sarah, a lawyer of Human Rights Law Network, (HRLN) Manipur.
The HRLN is a collective of lawyers and social activists dedicated to use of the legal system to advance human rights in India and the subcontinent.
Sarah, represented by her senior lawyer Rakesh Meihoubam who is also the director of the HRLN, filed the petition after a report appeared in local newspapers recently that a government school in Bishnupur district did not have any teacher.
In her petition, Sarah had prayed for full implementation of the Right to Education Act in that school.
Taking up the petition, the court had asked the petitioner and her counsel to survey the condition of some of the schools in Imphal West and Imphal East districts of Manipur and submit a report.
“After getting the report, the high court constituted a two-member committee on July 11 to inspect five of the schools already surveyed by the petitioner’s team to authenticate their findings,” Meihoubam told The Telegraph today.
The two members, senior advocates Y. Nirmolchand and Th. Tarunkumar, submitted their report to the court on July 26. They had surveyed the condition of Gurukul Hijam Junior High School, Thamboumacha High School and Tondonsana High School in Imphal West, besides Eastern Ideal School and Bashikhong Junior High School in Imphal East.
In the report, containing photographs of the condition of the schools, the committee recorded that the schools are in a “pathetic state” without basic amenities such as drinking water or proper toilets. They also reported widespread encroachment.
It said computers were lying unused in some of the schools.
Describing the condition of the Gurukul School, the committee stated: “The campus is now partly encroached by neighbouring residents and it is full of weed and tall grasses. A part of the campus was being used for piggery by the chowkidar. The doors and windows of the school are damaged beyond repair.”
In Tondonsana High School, the report said the school does not have mathematics and computer teachers though computer sets have been provided.
The photographs show that most of the schools are in a dilapidated state with walls, doors and windows broken. One school does not even have a roof.
The petition came at a time education minister Th. Radheshyam is visiting schools to assess the present condition. He had expressed dissatisfaction at the state of affairs of the schools.
Source: Telegraph India