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Text Book Stalemate Continues

IMPHAL, May 16: Even as a large number of students launched a futile attempt to storm the office of Board of Secondary Education (BSEM) to protest the shortage of text books, student organizations that initiated the current movement have cautioned that piecemeal solution to the demand will not be acceptable.

Demanding the free availability of text books prescribed under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan project, groups of slogan shouting students tried to proceed towards to the BSEM office but were herded away from the high security zone by police personnel who were deployed heavily in the area.

Meanwhile, representatives of student organizations such as DESAM, AMSU, MSF and KSA told media persons that inspite of the ongoing agitation BSEM and Education Department authorities have failed to deliver justice to the students.

Informing that text books made available to the students since the movement was launched is highly incompatible compared to number of students covered under the SSA project, they asserted that all attempts to hoodwink the general public would be strongly opposed.

It is also informed that a total of 37,240 text books on Manipuri, English and Hindi subjects for the 2011 academic session could be printed or produced till date while there is still no sign of publication of text books concerning Social Sciences, Mathematics and Environmental Science.

They also said 26,251 text books prescribed in the 2010 session and which could not be made available to the students have been handed over to head masters of schools concerned by the Board.

Expressing that some of the positive measures undertaken by the Board justifies movement initiated by the four student organizations, they also demanded that necessary arrangement be made by the ZEO concerned to distribute remaining text books to the headmasters at the earliest failing which further course of action would be initiated. Suggesting that relevant process for text book provision of the next academic session should be completed 2-3 months ahead of the session commencement, DESAM assist general secretary A Thoithoi, AMSU information and Publicity secretary S Anil, MSF general secretary Anash Shah and KSA general secretary Ph Manao proposed that only competent printing/publication firm should be assigned the task of text book production.

They also alleged that top officials of Education department had been neglecting official obligations and concentrating more on their personal matters and called upon authorities concerned to appoint Chairman of BSEM with strict adherence to service rules and regulations. Pointing out that number of students in Govt-run schools is much inferior compared to private educational institutions, they opined that recruitment of teachers solely based on merit would be able to lift standard of Govt schools. The four also mooted that recalcitrant Govt School teachers should be identified for initiation of necessary action and reminded all concerned that right to education is equally precious as right to life.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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