Manipur's education sector to boost and become self-reliant says Okendro

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Imphal, March 2: Like other states of India, the North Eastern state of Manipur will soon become self-reliant in terms of education. Education Minister Moirangthem Okendro stated that the state will become 'self-reliant' in education in a few years’ time.

The minister was speaking at a function at Mayang Imphal Kenchak Heigumyangbi in Imphal West on Sunday where he inaugurated the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV).

Okendro said the Manipur Government has so far upgraded 323 elementary schools to secondary schools under SSA, RUSA and RMSA in the state.

The Minister reacted strongly against a recent incident wherein a minor boy fled his boarding school after he was allegedly beaten up severely by the school owner on the charge of stealing money. “Such incidents violate the rights of children and right to education,” Okendro stated. He further assured that perpetrators involved in cases of cruelty to children will be punished.

The incident took place on February 26 at Ima Medhabati Public School, Langjing Achouba Tabungkhok in Imphal West. The victim boy was reportedly put inside a sack after brutally being beaten by the school owner and was kept inside the sack overnight. The boy then fled the hostel the next morning.

In this regard, the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) announced a ban on the school a day after the incident. DESAM also urged the Manipur State Commission for Child Rights to take stringent action against the school authority, news agency The kMorung Express reported. 

On the current issue concerning denial of admit cards to more than 2000 students who have been preparing to the appear the upcoming board examination, the minister said “Some individuals in the state consider school children as commodities that can be turned into a money-spinning business.”

The over 2000 students are likely to miss out the CBSE-conducted Class X and XII examinations which will begin on March 2.

Okendro informed that FIRs would be filed against those frauds so as to punish them and deliver justice to the victims.

CBSE-affiliated schools have mushroomed in Imphal in the past few years, and most of them are highly expensive. However, many of them are not recognised by the board.

CBSE has asked the Manipur Government to install a special monitoring committee for the upcoming Class X and XII board exams in the state. The instruction came against the backdrop of high incidence of malpractice in the state after CBSE analyzed previous records.

While the CBSE-affiliated school in Imphal have already issued admit cards to students, some schools which are not affiliated to the board have failed to provide the same to students – numbering over 2000.

A few days ago, a couple of such schools were damaged by angry student protesters backed by guardians. Student organisations in the state have blamed the authorities for permitting establishment of a huge number of CBSE-affiliated schools in the state. They say such schools allow students to get through the examination without much difficulty.

In another incident, the DESAM had strongly criticised the Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) on February 26 for setting questions and giving incorrect answer options for the examination held for recruitment of college lecturers.

The alliance revealed that MPSC directly copied 20 questions from the Physical Geology question paper of the University of Wyoming for the examination held for recruiting college lecturers on February 22.

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