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Reality of Education system in Manipur

Education Minister Th. Radheshyam has been in the news many times for his inevitable inspection visits to school and colleges. His action speaks louder and people are hopeful of the changes that the dynamic Minister is likely to bring changes in the state education scenario.
All is not well when the system remain as it is even after 2years. Now a finding by two students group which suggested possible leakage of examination question papers from a coaching center is indeed shocking. And regarding this the Minister or department authority is yet to give a response.
Well, since his inception as the education Minister, all that has been heard from the Minister is the present state of school buildings and other infrastructures. However , we the people still fails to hear even single word about bringing reform to the educational sectors which is a major reason for the failure of the education scenario. After inspection of the school buildings now it’s again mass transfer of teachers.
 Everyone knows the repercussion of this mass transfer. And again after the state assembly session which is scheduled from tomorrow tenders for construction of school buildings of the already built schools will be notified. If the Minister felt that the schools were not constructed upto the mark then why is our honourable Minister instead of taking action against those contractors or any other official responsible, have to start another construction.
We are all aware of the fact that various initiatives and incentives taken up by the ministry of education such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) under the Right to Education Act (R TE) 2009 have not achieved its objectives despite four years of concerted efforts. It has also been reported that a large number of elementary teachers all over the country (more than 7,000 in Manipur alone) have yet to receive the requisite training or the expertise to impart education to the students at the elementary level.
The training program is taken up to address this lacuna, with the Chief Minister prominently stating that untrained elementary teachers will not be employed after 2015. It may be mentioned that the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may , by law , determine.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (R TE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards. Article 21-A and the R TE Act came into effect on 1 April 2010.
The title of the R TE Act incorporates the words ‘free and compulsory’. ‘Free education’ means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. ‘Compulsory education’ casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age groups.
With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the R TE Act which provides for , among others, Right of children to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education in a neighbourhood school, making provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class.
It also lays down the norms and standards relating inter alia to Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs), buildings and infrastructure, school-working days, teacher-working hours. And, most importantly, the Act provides for appointment of appropriately trained teachers, i.e. teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications and prohibits (a) physical punishment and mental harassment; (b) screening procedures for admission of children; (c) capitation fee; (d) private tuition by teachers and (e) running of schools without recognition.
Now that one can safely conclude that the groundwork is coming to a satisfactory conclusion, what remains to be seen is how actively and keenly is the Government looking into the implementation of the schemes, for no amount of planning and financial support or investment will reap result unless the teachers deliver , and in time.


Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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