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Student Bodies, Teachers Plan Text Book Campaign

IMPHAL, May 9: Alleging that it is because of the connivance between the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BSEM) and State authorities of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) that text books are not available, leaders of four student bodies have announced that students and teachers from different schools would be picketing offices of the BSEM, SSA and ZEOs tomorrow to demand supply of text books.

Addressing a joint press conference in this connection at the headquarters of AMSU here today, general secretary of AMSU Depandjit N, assistant secretary general of DESAM A Thoithoi, general secretary of MSF Anash Shah and general secretary of Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA) Ph Manao informed that a team of the four student bodies today went to inspect the godown of BSEM and found over 20,000 text books with the logo of SSA lying there.

It is a clear indication that the BSEM and the SSA have been conniving in concealing these text books meant for free distribution among the students of class I to VIII. So, volunteers of the four student bodies tried to confiscate the text books lying in the godown of BSEM to make arrangement for distribution among the intended students.

But some of the BSEM officials locked up the go-down and informed the police to prevent the student volunteers from taking away the text books, they informed.

“This is nothing but deprivation of Right to Education of the students and a ploy of the Government to ruin the future of the society,” they alleged.

Reacting to a reported question asked by a police Sub-Inspector on the educational qualification of the student leaders during the confrontation at the BSEM office today, the four student bodies have countered by saying that the same question should be first put on the Chief Minister.

The conduct of the SI has shown that he does not know how to get along with the public, whom he is suppose to serve, the student leaders said, while asserting there have been numerous instances of filling up post on the basis of possession of a large number of certificates that could be bought easily in the black market which could never be any yardstick for qualification.

The student bodies are not any authorities as the police pointed out, but they are pressure groups which are making efforts only to ensure that the text books are made available to the students among whom there are many who are the sons and daughters of police personnel, the student leaders pointed out and appealed to the police not to impose any sort of restriction on the activities of the student bodies in future.

They also alleged that the police have taken Rs 100 out of Rs 2000 demanded from the driver of the DI Tata MN01/9597 transporting the seized text books to ensure its release.

Calling upon the all the students and teachers to take part in picketing the offices of BSEM, SSA and ZEO offices tomorrow, the student bodies demanded that authorities of the BSEM and SSA ensure availability of text books positively within May 11.

The claim of the Board secretary that adequate text books have been provided is only a challenge on the student community who are still suffering from shortage of text books. So, if the teachers are truly concerned about the future of the students, they should not just think about their salary but join in the movement of ensuring text books to the students. If the text books are not made available to the students, then it should be taken by force, the student leaders exhorted.

In accordance to official record, it is said that over 2.30 lakhs students in Manipur are entitled to receive free text books under the SSA program.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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