TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Leave the schools alone
Courtesy: The Sangai Express09th September, 2006



The ransacking of Government schools in some parts of the hill districts has added another chapter to the demand to affiliate the private schools located in these districts to the Nagaland Board of Secondary Education.

It is hard to understand why students should take recourse to such destructive methods to press home their demands and in a way the destruction caused to the properties of the Government schools was sheer madness. However what is disturbing is there seems to be a pattern behind this madness and this what everyone should be wary of.

The demand to affiliate to the NBSE and to follow the text books prescribed by the Board of the neighbouring State has seen different methods being adopted.

First it was the act of consigning to flames the text books prescribed by the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur in Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong districts.

Then followed the vitriolics poured out against an official of the BSEM on the ground that he had leaked concocted and cooked up information to the press.

Now it is Government schools being targeted and effigies of the Chief Minister and Education Minister being consigned to the flames.

The question is what now ? What course of action will be taken up later ?

We agree that in a democracy everyone has the right to protest and air his/her grievances against the Government.

This is the beauty of democracy and notably student organisations have been the ones to avail the privilege to strike and launch agitation against the Government if their cry for 'justice' is not heard.

There is nothing wrong in students airing their opinion and demanding their rights from the Government but when students start taking the destructive route then it becomes undesirable.

It was precisely because of this we had expressed our strong reservation against the burning of Government files by members of the Manipuri Students' Federation some time back.

A school is a sacred institution.

To the students it should be their Church, Temple, Mosque, Gurdwara according to their faith.

To our understanding a school is not merely a structure of concrete with class rooms, benches, desks, blackboards and the other physical entities that are visible to the naked eyes.

Far more than this a school is a living symbol of knowledge.

The sanctity of a school should not be anything less than a place of worship, for knowledge itself is something beyond the profane, it is sacred.

Student organisations, no matter what cause they are pursuing need to realise that targeting educational institutions do nothing except besmirch their reputation and can raise questions over their credibility.

The students of the four hill districts can take up other course of agitation to press home their demand but serious thoughts ought to be given on the mode of protest they plan to launch.

Targeting the very school which were once the temple of learning for their elders and themselves too at one point of time or the other will amount to nothing much except cutting off the nose to spite the face. Schools and books are sacred.

Let's respect the sanctity of these institutions and ideally students should be the people leading the way in paying their respect to the temple of learning instead of desecrating them.

Our stand on the matter is clear.

Stop targeting educational institutions and books in any course of agitation.




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