CM receives 'no interference' promises from Arjun
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, Jul 23: Reacting strongly to the reported assurance given by HRD Minister Arjun Singh to the NSF that private schools in the four hill districts of Manipur will be allowed to affiliate to the Nagaland Board of School Education, Chief Minister O Ibobi said that such a design will never be allowed to happen.

Talking to the press, the Chief Minister said that Education is a State subject and the State Government will never agree to such a proposal.

Ibobi also said that no intimation has been received from the Centre in this regard.

However the Chief Minister rang up the office of The Sangai Express late this evening and quoting his conversation with Arjun Singh said, "I have talked with the HRD Minister and he told me that though he met the NSF team, no such assurance was given.

Mr Arjun Singh clearly said that education is a State subject and the Centre will not intervene." An official of the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, informed The Sangai Express that if the affiliation demand comes about then it would contravene the Acts of both NBSE and BSEM.

The official on condition of anonymity said that the BSEM Act, 1972, Section I (IV) and the NBSE Act of 1973, prohibit Boards from infringing upon the jurisdiction of other Boards.

The official further said that there is no precedence of schools located in one State being affiliated to the Board of another State in the country and added that this can be a dangerous precedent.

The issue at hand has to be settled politically and not naively, asserted the official.

On the contention that Meitei Mayek is being imposed on the students in the hill districts, the official dismissed the charges and explained that tribal students are given the opportunity to study their dialects.

At the moment 8 tribal dialects are offered to the tribal students by the BSEM, asserted the official.

Meitei Mayek is not imposed, he said and added that if tribal students want to learn Manipuri they are given the option of learning it through the Roman script and not Meitei Mayek as alleged.

On being contacted Education Minister L Nandakumar said that no intimation has been sent to the State by the Centre.

Speaking to The Sangai Express, Nandakumar said, "I don't think the Union HRD Minister should interfere on the issue." Private schools in the hills are being forced to adopt NBSE syllabus, asserted the Minister and added that NBSE should not infringe on the jurisdiction of the BSEM.

In pursuit of the demand to affiliate to the Nagaland Board, ANSAM burnt the text books prescribed by the BSEM in the four hill districts of Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong sometime back.