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Clearing up the act

by williamgurumayum
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Another year has rolled half past, and our state, like any other place in the world where agitations and protests are everyday occurrence rather than the exception, is just slowly starting to return to the familiar everyday routine after the prolonged disturbances and disruptions that has paralysed the society for most of the year. More importantly, a new academic session started only to be disturbed at the very outset and parents and guardians are getting nightmares over the future of their wards. Adding to the frenzy and the uncertainty are the various social and student’s organisations raising issues and voicing concerns of increased tuition and admission fees, unfavorable norms of admission, inclusion of children belonging to the BPL ( Below Poverty Line) families and campaigns for effective implementation of the Right to Education Act, among other things. On a positive note, all these points to an increasing awareness of the importance of education. One point, albeit seemingly trivial, that seemed to escape public scrutiny is the dismal quality of the text books being used in the schools across the state which is published by the Secretary- BOSEM (Board Of Secondary Education, Manipur). These books are so shoddily prepared- a cursory glance will be enough to hazard a guess about the state of the book- the covers that looks faded and dull with even blotted prints on most of them, pages glued together and so thin- sometimes one can read the contents from the backside though one need a certain degree of expertise to do this. It will not be an exaggeration to predict the longevity of these books in the hands of most of the children to a month, whereas these are meant to be used almost daily for the academic year. The visual impact that should be drawing and keeping the attention of the student and elicit interest on the book is totally absent, creating disinterest and sometimes difficulty in reading as the prints are faded enough as to render them illegible. Apparently, similar efforts and attention to detail is being put into the binding and finishing of these books. Despite the shoddy workmanship, these books, more often than not are not made available in time for the students causing considerable delays and disruptions in the academic progress over and above the regular bandhs, blockades, strikes and holidays which are a regular feature of our social life. It would be prudent for the concerned authorities and associations clamoring for an improved system of education in the state to look into these matters in addition to the larger ones at hands, as it is the books, as and when made available, that will have the undivided attention of the students once they are inside their classrooms. Only when the small cogs are in place, will the wheels begin to roll smoothly. Taking the whole system for a ride according to the whims of a few unscrupulous persons whole sole objective in the whole exercise is to maximize their personal profit is bound to have negative repercussions. A stricter control is required relating to the quality as well the quantity of the product.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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