TODAY -
Government's appeal inspires few
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 09 2009: Despite the Manipur Government resolve to resume classes in the state from today, exactly two months since the indefinite class boycott in the state, educational institutes remained suspended as students fail to turn up for classes at schools and colleges.

Three student bodies´┐ŻAll Manipur Students union (AMSU), Manipuri Students Federation (MSF) and Kangleipak Students Association (KSA) jointly called the indefinite class boycott agitation on September 9 last demanding justice in the July 23 alleged fake encounter in Imphal in which former insurgent Ch Sanjit and pregnant housewife Th.Rabina were killed by police commandos.

During an investigative trip across Imphal East and Imphal West districts by this reporter, classrooms remained locked while teachers could be found sunning themselves in the school compounds or in groups in the staff room in the absence of students.

Every school was guarded by three or four well-armed police personnel.

Dr K.Nabachandra, principal of privately owned Herbert School in Imphal West District, all teachers and supporting staff of the school had arrived early in the morning in time for classes, but no student had turned up today.

"Since both the government and the agitating bodies have not arrived at an agreement yet, there is an innate fear in both the guardians of the students and the school about possible negative consequences such as attacks on schools, arson, etc.

This is the main reason why parents are reluctant to send their children to school," he added.

"We feel that the Government has failed to take the initiative they ought to have taken to resolve the current impasse.

In all seriousness and sincerity required in dealing with the present imbroglio, they should first create an amicable atmosphere for talks.

Only then will this situation be normalised.

We are pained by this hardened stand of the government.

On the other hand, we don't want the students only to suffer on a public issue.

When all other sections of the society, be it businesspersons, office employees or industrialists are going on with their normal routine, why should only the students who are young, innocent and too immature to understand the pros and cons of the public issue, be penalised," he said, reiterating his appeal for a dialogue between the two parties to speed up resumption of normal classes.

Mr Ch Dhirendra of government-run Keishamthong High School in Imphal West also adds, "Yesterday, we had a meeting of the school's Parents Teachers Association (PTA).

The parents expressed that they would feel more secure if the classes resume in a tension-free, education enabling environment after both the government and the agitators reach an understanding.

So despite the Government order, we are handicapped." Only two among the 184 students in his school turned up for classes today.

Senior SP, Imphal West, L Kailun went round to oversee security arrangements at educational institutions today.

He also visited the Little Flower School where several thousands of students are studying, but found the gate of the school locked.

He went inside the campus and found all the class rooms locked.

No student was seen coming to school.

He talked with the authority of the school.

Minimal or no turnout of students were also evident at schools and colleges across Imphal East and Bishnupur districts, while some schools in Thoubal district continued classes with very low attendance.

Classes in the hill districts of the state are, however, unaffected by the class boycott call.

The legislators of Secular Progressive Front (SPF) had appealed for resumption of classes following an SPF Legislature Party meeting held on Saturday.

In a press release, SPF spokesperson N Biren expressed willingness of the government to hold talks with the agitating organizations, while also appealing to the student bodies calling the class boycott to cooperate towards bringing a solution through dialogue with the government, without interrupting education any further.

Superintendents of Police of the valley districts have also been instructed to enhance patrolling exercises and to ensure that educational institutions are secure, he added.

On Sunday, state Education Minister L Jayantakumar also added his appeal for resumption of classes noting that the protracted class boycott is likely to cause a serious problem for students due to appear in examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur and Board of Secondary Education, Manipur.

The All Manipur Students Guardians' Organisation (AMSGO) had appealed to all the parents to send their children to school from today onwards, while reiterating that the failure of the State Government to take up necessary actions to redress the grievances of the people in connection with the July 23 incident is condemnable.


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