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Flop Show: Semester System Blamed

IMPHAL, May 25: The democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DES-AM) today contended that after introduction of semester system in the college education pass percentage in the annual examination has declined sharply.

Speaking to reporters at Manipur Press Club here this afternoon, DESAM secretary general M Angamba said non completion of semester within the specified time-frame has demeaned the very purpose of the new system in college education.

He also alleged that apart from late attendance in class and early departure, most teachers are involved in contract works thereby compromising the career of the students.

Recounting that the semester system for under- graduate courses (BA 1st and 2nd year) was introduced in colleges under Manipur University as per guideline of the University Grant Commission (UGC), he cited inability to cover a semester and overlapping of the next semester is posing serious threat to the student community.

Elaborating on his contention, Angamba said during the 2010 academic session out of 777 students of the reputed DM College of Science who appeared in the yearly examination only 114 scaled the test, a miserly 14.78 percent.

Moreover, only 79 Arts students of Maharaj Bodhchandra College passed the said examination out of a total of 142 compared to 41 out of 142 science students in Imphal College, he pointed out and added that Arts students of Manipur College achieved the highest pass percentage of 60 percent out of 134 who appeared in the examination.

With regard to GP Women’s College only 59 science students out of 398 passed the examination while success rate in arts stream was recorded at 30 percent.

It is also informed that in the previous academic session (2009) 90 science students of Imphal College appeared in the yearly examination out of which 78 (86.6 percent) were successful.

Further highlighting latest figure of BA examination trend, he detailed that out of 5385 who appeared in the science stream 2363 (44.88 percent) were successful while arts stream witnessed 62.8 percent pass percentage out of 6523 students who appeared in the examination compared to only 22.68 percent success among commerce students whose total strength in the examination was 3013.

Describing the low pass percentage trend being witnessed, ever since semester system was implemented in colleges under the Academic Council of Manipur University, as demoralizing for the student community in the State, the DESAM secretary also accused MU authorities of non-adherence to the specified academic calendar.

Noting that BA 1st and 3rd year sessions are specified by the Council for commencement from July 2 and the yearly examinations supposed to be conducted in December, he said for 2nd year the specification is February and June months for session commencement and yearly examination respectively.

He insisted that inspite of such official specification the academic calendar could not be maintained as there is no uniform commencement of the academic session in colleges under Manipur University.

Informing that UGC guideline necessitates at least 90 working days within the semester period, Angamba expressed serious concern that there are only 30-40 working days here in the State and cited frequent agitation as one of the factors.

Stating that colleges used as centers for class XII examination is another cause for the curtailed working days in a semester year, he deeply regretted non completion of practical classes of a semester period even after commencement of the succeeding semester session. Accusing the teaching staff members as another factor for the decline in standard of college education, he contended that most teachers report late for duty compared to calling it quit for the day well ahead of the prescribed duty hours.

Involvement of the teaching staff in contract and supply work rather than concentrate on their assigned task is also having a demoralizing effect upon the students, he said while adding that prescribed guideline is for a teacher to be present at their respective institution for seven hours in a day.

Summing up the miserable education scenario in the State, he said while higher education is getting diluted due to incompetency of Department of Education (university) authorities with inability to provide in time MU-prescribed text books still a chronic problem, the teachers neglecting duty deserved to be tackled with urgency. Angamba also conceded that double-admission by a single student who toys between general studies and professional courses is another vital cause for the decline in standard of higher education in the State while informing that DESAM would soon assess attendance of both teachers and students. He further suggested that library books by updated in accordance to need of the hour besides ensuring internet learning at colleges for such a facility have become an essential component of modern-day education.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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