TODAY -
Govt inattention victimises education in hills
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 13 2009: Just as schools/colleges located in valley districts are fading day by day, schools/colleges located in hill districts too are suffering not because of lack of students but due to want of adequate infrastructure and deficiency in the number of teachers.

Under the initiative of the Mao Students' Union, a team of media persons toured a number of Mao inhabited villages located near the border with Nagaland recently.

The media made a direct assessment of the problems and woes of the people there.

The media team found that the multipurpose hall of Hill College Tadubi was yet to be completed even through construction work of the hall began in 2007.Tadubi is located just two Kms West of NH 39 and eight kms short of the Mao Gate.

The hall in its construction stage broke down once earlier because of the failure to control quality.

Although many State Govt officials came and inspected the hall after its break down, there is no sign of taking up any action till date.

Principal in-charge of the College, KH Loli sought attention of the authority concerned to make regular inspections so as to avert any costly casualty after construction of the hall is completed.

He said that except Arts stream, no other streams have been opened in the only Government college of entire Senapati district.

The Arts subjects opened in the college is only four, namely Economics, Political Science, History and Education.

Ten regular teachers and eight part-time teachers have been teaching these subjects to 133 students.

The strength of 133 students in the college having only four departments was decent if one compared it to colleges located in valley districts and having many more departments, Loli opined.

A ramshakle construction passes off as a school while an unfinished school building adornsSenapati district in Mao


The current strength of 133 students was lesser compared to the past, he said.

One primary factor for the decreasing number of students was the inability of the college to add more departments to the four departments which has been in existence since 10/20 years back.

The Principal observed that in order to make the college complete and enable it compete with private colleges, the Government need to pay special attention to the college towards opening more departments including vocational courses.

He also appealed to the Government to develop/repair the 2 kms long approach road to the college from NH 39, put up compound fencing and also to rebuild four classrooms which have slanted following landslides.

On their next stop, the media team visited Mao Pundung UJB School, about 13 Kms West of Makhan or NH 39 .

Though the area has a population of around 3000, the UJB School was the only school.

The school having around 100 students was badly outdated, former village chairman Dahri said.

The location of the village assumed extra significance as it would take only three hours to reach Dzuko valley on foot from there.

The UJB School is the only place for children of neighbouring villages too to access formal education.

It was the earnest desire of the villagers to upgrade the school at least to the level of a Junior High School.

Though the school boasted of 100 students, the condition of the school building was quite pathetic.

The ratio of the number of teachers to the number of students was utterly incompatible.

The villagers questioned the State Government's policy of posting extra teachers in valley schools having little or no students while schools in hill districts having fair number of students have been made to suffer for want of adequate number of teachers.

Appealing to the Government to impose its presence both in the valley and hills, the villagers noted that this would help in bringing peace and harmony in the State.

In addition to the dilapidated condition of its building, Pudunamei Government Junior High School located near the border to Nagaland has no Science or Mathematics teacher though their absence was felt most acutely in hill schools.

The school has only seven teachers against 80 students.

Moreover, the school has been running without a regular Headmaster for the past many years.

Even as all these problems and woes have been reported to the State Government, there has been not a single response from the relevant authorities.

A Hindi teacher is taking charge of the Headmaster.

Sadar Patel High School located at Mao Gate was also facing shortage of Science and Mathematics teachers in addition to the pressing need for renovation of the school building.

Amidst the shortage of Science teachers, one Science teacher retired this year but no replacement teacher has been sent till date.

The school is also being run by an in-charge Headmistress.

Mao-Maram Government Higher Secondary School Tadubi, now degraded to a High School was provided five computer sets under NEC.

But no computer teacher has been posted at the school till date.

Repeated assurances by different Ministers of the State to develop the school are yet to be materialised.

Notwithstanding the unquestionable role of education in modernisation/development of a society, hill districts are lagging far behind in the field of education.

This was realised during the recent visit to a few schools in the hill districts, said president of the Mao Students' Union Lokho Ojho Mao.

It is clear that the State Government has been paying little attention to requirements of schools and colleges located in hill districts.

The State Government need not wait for the people to point out and launch agitation in order to take up development programmes, Lokho Ojho Mao asserted.


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