Officials stammer to posers on school project
Education Minister Mulls Amalgamation Of Government Schools

IMPHAL, 27th May: In what could be termed as a testimony about lack of coordination and transparency, education department officials stuttered in providing convincing reply when posers were raised on non-completion and purpose for building construction at Lilong higher secondary school. The said government educational institute was among some schools located in Langthabal assembly constituency, conditions of which education minister Th Radheshyam and CAF & PD minister Karam Shyam assessed on Saturday.

As the ministers deplored non-completion of the building construction, which reportedly started some three years back as well as queried on the extended structure of the building, education department officials conceded naivety on actual purpose for the new building. With the exception of informing that the building is a component of RMSA project, the officials were found to be ignorant of the new block which resembled a hall.

Some school teachers present at the spot cited contractors telling them that the new building will be utilised as computer classrooms to which the officials contended that under RMSA specification a computer classroom should be of 7x7. Among others, the teachers voiced resentment over absence of separate toilets for female students and teachers, and urged the ministers to do the needful for infrastructure development and provision of basic amenities.

While assuring the teachers that immediate steps would be taken up for development of the school, which currently has about 250 students, minister Radheshyam also repented that even decades after freedom from British rule there is not a single building of government educational institutions in the state which is in good condition. He also observed that to compete with the flourishing private schools, a target should be set for having at-least two higher secondary schools with adequate infrastructure so that in five years, 10 government schools could be at par with private schools.

Seeking cooperation from the teachers to make government schools attractive and prospective options for every parent/guardian to send their children/wards for study, Radheshyam called upon all stakeholders to strengthen health and education sectors to check continuous exhaustion of the state exchequer on account of students preferring to pursue education outside Manipur.

He conceded that the recently declared results of higher secondary examination showing poor performance by the government school students is a grim reminder about the deplorable status of government educational institutes. The minister disclosed about plan to amalgamate government schools for addressing incongruent student-teacher ratio.

Though Manipur has teacher-student ratio of 1:6, which the minister said is at par with the global standard, the inability of government schools to produce meritorious students suggests that time has come for the teachers to introspect why parents are enrolling their wards at comparatively expensive private schools, despite government schools having qualified and talented teachers.

Speaking on the occasion, minister Karam Shyam noted that Lilong Higher Secondary School is among the oldest and prestigious schools from Lilong to Singjamei area. In the past, the school had produced many brilliant and talented students but the same school remaining in a desperate position needs immediate attention from the education department, he said, adding that teachers need to shoulder the responsibility for regaining faith and trust of parents and guardians. He also called upon local leaders and volunteers to help in bringing a positive change in the education system. The ministers’ inspection also covered Chajing Kangjeibung Government Junior High School.

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