Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Tuesday, 08 September 2020 17:37

CM hands over assistance to beneficiaries

IT News
Imphal, Sept 8:
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh today handed over monetary assistance of Rs. 7500 each to 7500 organic farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCDNER) and old age pension cards under Manipur Old Age Pension Scheme (MOAP) to 20,833 pensioners enrolled through the Go to Village mission.

CAF and PD Minister Karam Shyam, Water Resources Minister Letpao Haokip, TA and Hills Minister N. Kayisii, Education Minister Th. Radheshyam, Forest and Environment Minister Awangbow Newmai, MLAs and high ranking officials of the State Government also took part in the function jointly organized by the Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department and Social Welfare Department.

Speaking at the occasion as the chief guest, N. Biren Singh said that there might be many critics of the Go to Village mission but genuine needy people could not have been identified if it was not held. It had also enabled the Government to understand the people’s requirements, wishes and the key areas where developmental activities should be taken up, he observed.

No matter there is need for developing infrastructures but more important is giving support to the people to live a dignified life, the Chief Minister opined and stated that there would be no use of broad and smooth roads and high buildings if majority of the people are starving and infested by ill health. As such, the present State Government has been concentrating more on lifting the living standard of the people, the Chief Minister said. Urging the people to give strength to the Government in this regard, the Chief Minister said that they would keep on working hard to give employment, build houses for the homeless and ensure subsidized healthcare and foodstuff. He said that the Government has started planning to make the State self-sufficient in production of some selected items like rice, onion, pulses, fish, mustard oil, poultry, livestock etc.

A total of Rs. 5.625 crore is directly transferred to 7500 registered farmers of different districts at Rs. 7500 per farmer every year under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCDNER). In the Go to Village mission launched on May 1, 2018, 25,312 persons submitted applications for availing benefit under Manipur Old Age Pension Scheme (MOAP). Out of this, 20,833 genuine applicants were selected for providing pension. Benefits of 12 months (March 2019 to February 2020) at the rate of Rs. 200 per month had already been transferred to the bank accounts of these 20,833 beneficiaries through DBT using the Public Financial Management System.

IT News
Imphal, September 7:
Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh today inaugurated newly constructed office buildings of Thoubal Treasury and Kakching Sub-Treasury. The inaugural ceremonies of the two office buildings were held with strict adherence of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)s in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Chief Minister inaugurating the newly constructed office building of Thoubal Treasury expressed satisfaction over the newly developed infrastructure which will house all the related officers and officials comfortably. Deputy Commissioner of Thoubal N. Bandana Devi, Director of Treasuries and Accounts Chanam Ajit Singh and SP Thoubal Dr. S. Ibomcha Singh attended among others in the inaugural ceremony.

Later, Deputy Chief Minister moved to Kakching and inaugurated the newly constructed office building of Kakching Sub-Treasury. Deputy Commissioner of Kakching Valentina Arambam, Director of Treasuries and Accounts Chanam Ajit Singh and SP Kakching Victoria Yengkhom also attended the inaugural ceremony.

Construction works of the two office buildings was started in the financial year 2017-18 and completed in 2018-19 with an estimated cost of Rs. 1.5 crores each.  The G+1 office buildings have been designed with state of the art technologies.

Yumnam Joykumar Singh who is also the President of Manipur Badminton Association (MBA) inspected two locations in Kakching district where office building and court of Kakching District Badminton Association can be developed.

Sunday, 06 September 2020 09:38

Mom, I’m (home) at your school!

By Kamal Baruah

An old isolated signboard has always caught my attention while I come to visit my home at the weekend that indicating ESTD 1890 which I’ve ever heeded because it’s my mom’s school. The amazing impact had on my life for being grown up with teacher mother. I’m proud to be a beginner of that Primary where I grow up. What makes me love and call it as mom’s school that’s my home too. Ever since I stepped foot as one year toddler, I stood behind her chair. My mom said, I opposed to sit in the classand I completed (Ka and Kha) two classes from mother’s chair as my first teacher too.

I have more childhood memories than years gone by. There was a big hall accompanying all five classes under one roof.  We sat on the floor where desk, fan and lamp were luxury then. But everything went without a hitch andwe screamed with laughter. With only two teachers, they faced mayhem task to conquer noise from hundreds of innocent broods.While I looked out through the windshield, the evening twilight has brightened our primary. I lazily saw around the pleasant meadow and walked sleepily over the stems and spikes of small wild-pollinated flowers that spread over predominantly. The air is still filled with strong sense of my early childhood days. The vegetation are acquainted with me and seemed greatly cheered of my arrival.

One of my earliest recalls is of sitting under the mango tree. Memorising the multiplication table under its shade from sunlight was lot of fun where we made friendship that last a life time. Stones and sticks were thrown fiercely to branches aiming at the mangoes. They weren’t 17th century “aha moment” from falling apple whilst Isaac Newton discovered the Law of gravity, we discovered the joy of falling mangoes from the tall perennial woody plant. It was like an elevated crown under sun and rain.  All of these things make me love my time at my mom’s school. The more we shouted numbers, the more our teachers happy. Actually we’re interested anything other than eating fleshy, yellowish, juicy mangoes. Probably we had teachers that wanted to see us playing while learning and wanted to retain the smiles of ours.

Being a teacher’s kid impacted my upbringing when I was younger. As a child of a teacher, my memories are full of discipline from the classroom until bed at night. It undeniably molded me into the person I am today. “You’re Mrs. Baruah’s son, aren’t you?” I had been enquired hundreds of times over the years. Those eyes were always watching my movement in my tender age.At the same time it helped me grow up into a total personality. The influence of mother over her children will always be strong and my mom knows everything better as a mother cum teacher.While lying over the letter (Your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled) Thomas A. Edison’s mother turned him into the genius of the Century with few positive word of encouragement (Yours son is genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have good enough teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself)

With this Teachers’ day celebration on the birthday of India’s second President Dr SarvepalliRadhakrishnan., I have a profound feeling of respect for those teachers who shapes our world. Even Prophet Muhammad introduced himself as a teacher. Throughout his life, he proved that he knew the things he is preaching. But life’s not always rainbows and butterflies to our small little world. While returning, those moments have suddenly got shattered. Their silence didn’t escape my notice soon I came to know that mom’s primary closed down due to low enrolment, where parents don’t want to send their children anymore. People are rejecting vernacular medium of study for English-medium schools. Our school was founded during the princely state while Lansdowne was Governor General of India. Such was the history. Today my mother is no more for she took teaching as a noble cause for our primary. Teachers are respected and eulogized. The respect they command from society due to the nobility of their profession.

However every school has a memory for students that made their basic foundation for life. The advancement of science has probably made today’s scenery and competition makes it worse. The US President Abraham Lincoln letter to his son’s teacher was the best example of being a concerned parent. “My son starts school today. It’s all going to be strange and new to him for a while......teachers but see what best you can do. He is such a nice little boy and he is my son.” As many years have passed, I’m still being proud of my primary education. Could we able to re-open my school after NEP implementation?The great education thinker Dr Kalam believes that school teachers have tremendous responsibility in shaping the life of an individual. “The seeds sown in childhood blossom into the tree of life”.While driving down the street, I keep thinking back to my school. Mom, I’m back!

By Surjit S Thokchom*

We celebrate Teachers’ Day on 5th September every year. It falls on the birthday of SarvepalliRadha Krishnan. Incidentally, the 5th September is also a birthday of Shri JP Naik who was an educationist par excellence, a Crusader of Emancipative Education.  My deep respect for both of them!

The teachers today can be categorized into three broad categories: Government school teachers, Para teachers supported by government schemes, and Private school teachers. Private school teachers work hard but paid very less, the para teacher too is less paid with no social security measures. The Government school teachers are well paid comparatively, well-educated, and well-secured but their dignity and accountability are at stake as the performance of government schools is far less than the popular expectation. We are now having a Cabinet Approved National Policy of Education (NEP) 2020 which we believe, will be tabled in the Parliament for further debate and discussion, and finally, it will become a policy:ready for implementation after gazette notification. In NEP 2020, there are two chapters devoted entirely to Teachers and Teachers’ Education.  But there are several recommendations in almost all the chapters that have direct implications to the life and works of teachers of all kinds.

There are several types of teachers as per NEP 2020: (i) the Aanganwadi workers who now will be called ECCE Teachers with 6 months or 1-year online Training depending on xii passed or below xii class, (ii) Peer group teachers who will be working under a trained teacher,(iii) Volunteers in much larger numbers than the teachers,  who will now be conducting Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Class under National Mission for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy,  (iv) Master Experts who will take a class on local knowledge and local vocational skills, (v) TET/NTA qualified teachers, (vii) one Sanskrit Teacher for every school who will teach Sanskrit through SSS(Simple Standard Sanskrit), (viii) arts, music and crafts teachers, (ix) special educators, (x) vocational teachers and (xi) teachers’ Leaders. All these teachers will be subjected to a new system called NEP 2020 provided it goes through the parliamentary debate, notwithstanding the so much look like already in the implementation process with a mere approval by the Cabinet.

The first blow to the teaching community is the paradigm changes in the Teaching-Learning Process. We were told that a teacher must be a philosopher, a guide, and a friend. We were also told in our D.EL. ED and B. ED Courses that the teachers are not necessarily the source of knowledge but a facilitator and children’s mind are not a blank slate. But the NEP 2020 says that we are Guru and we must pass on our knowledge, skills, and Ethics (5.1). Is this not the outdated giver-receiver paradigm?  It further says that we must be grounded in Ancient Indian values and Tradition. This seems okay if we look at it superficially but it further says that we are to teach a Sanskrit Knowledge System (4.17). Two systems that are not compatible with each other: the western scientific approach to knowledge generation based on external verification and the Sanskrit Knowledge System which is based on self-testified authority with no space for verification by external agencies are not compatible though both have their own merit. Within this perspective, are we going to work with two diametrically opposite pedagogical frameworks: one based on questioning and others based on submissiveness with no pinch of doubt? Is it doable? Attempt to force a child to engage in both systems will stress the cognitive apparatus of the child too much.

NEP 2020 concludes that small schools are economically suboptimal and operationally complex to run the good schools (7.1-7.3). So, it is to be clubbed into one School Complex within a distance of 5-10 kilometres. This means that many small schools will be closed down. This is called Rationalization by the Policy.  So large numbers of para teachers are to be out of the jobs. And those of us who are permanent or confirmed post holders, we are to move from school to school both in private and government at least within the campus in the name of sharing the human resources. And our immediate boss as a teacher of the school complex will be the Principal of the Secondary school of the Complex. This Principal can be either a Principal of a Government school or a Private school. That means sooner or later, some government school teachers will be working under the command of a young Private school head. How can it be? How can a private school teacher be the head of a Government school? My dear friends, under NEP 2020, all schools including Private and State Government-run schools will be assessed and credited on the same criteria (except school run by central government) (8.3, 8.7). There will be no preferential treatment for the government teachers but there is good news for our friends who work in private schools. Now he or she will get preferential treatment (8.7). There will be resource sharing of one private school and one government school in the name of twining& (best) practices of Private school will be institutionalised in Government schools (7.10). There is every possibility that some of the private school teachers will be getting higher salaries than government teachers. NEP 2020 now allows collecting any amount of fees however high or low arbitrarily provided it is disclosed in the SSSA website and it is allowed to collect surplus provided it will be reinvested into education (8.7).Is it bad or good? Each one of us have to ponder; whatever, the worse is going to happen for the government school teachers. The commitment of the Department of School Education (DSE) is now truncated and its support is limited to short term (1 year) or long terms (3-5 years) financial, human, physical (7.9). DSE’s role is limited to monitoring and policy implementation with no jurisdiction in accreditation, curriculum, and resource provisioning (8.5). DSE is a paper tiger under NEP 2020!!! Do we need a State Education Minister? Time will tell us!  A day is not far that many school teachers who were fortunate because you were not a part of pushed out Para teachers in the process of rationalization for school complex will now be under pressure to resign and join a private school. Over a short period of visible future, the government school teacher with high quality will be re-appointing at a much higher salary in a high fee-paying private school. And NEP 2020 removes the word “free” from the policy perspective and replaces it with “affordable”. So, budget Private schools will be converted into an affordable school with mediocre teachers.  What will happen to government school teachers? God knows!!!

It is said that Transfer will be under a computerized system of transfer based of Merit-based Tenure (5.17) and teacher’s career progression will be with no incentive in the name of equality of all teachers from Foundational level to Secondary level (5.18), Promotion and salary will be based on NPST and performance appraisal, not in seniority. Teachers are necessary to remember Art 51A (fundamental duties) but not necessarily fundamental Right. On one side, it is said that stand-alone Teacher’s Education Institute will be shut down and on other sides, it says that Teachers’ Education programme will be as per projection. (5.12, 5:29). As per NEP 2020, there will be multiple pathways for children who are out of mainstream education for whatever reason including SEDG children. (3.5). These multiple pathways viz Open, Online, Vocational Education, do not need teachers with B. Ed degree/TET/NTA. What is the obvious logic? A small number of TET/NTA qualified teachers are needed for 15% population and the rest of the population now will be taught through multiple pathways and therefore number of Teachers’ Education Institute should be decreased accordingly.

There is still one area of concern. What is our primary duty? NEP 2020 says that teachers must be involved in school administration (5.11), teachers must invest time in Mid-day meals (5.12). Do we feel okay with this additional burden in addition to going from one school to another and 50 hours of CPD online or offline? We as a teacher, as a Philosopher, a Friend, and a Guide, are the architect of the future of the nation. Don’t we think that it is our obligation to raise our voice?On this auspicious day of teachers’ day, I appeal to all teachers, “Speak up before your silence is mistaken as an Endorsement!”.  We shall overcome!!!

*Surjit S Thokchom is based in Shillong at present. He is a Secretariat Member of All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) and Editorial Board Member of a monthly publication of AIFRTE titled, “Reconstructing Education”.  He has been associating with an education project in rural khasi hills titled, “Demonstrating an Alternative Vision of Education”. He was a member of Institute Advisory Board of North East Regional Institute of Education (NERIE), Shillong, a Constituent of NCERT and he was a member of Position Paper of Work and Education, NCERT. He was also the official translator of National Curricular Framework, 2005(NCF 2005) into Manipuri. He can be reached through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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