Failing to address education Why no private players here ?

Education is at the centre of it all but unfortunately all concerned seems to have given a short shrift to the issue which is central to the ongoing stand off at Manipur University. As pointed out many times in this column earlier, it is the students who stand to lose the most from the stand off at MU and there is no indication that things will take a turn for the better in the coming days. As things stand today, a large number of students seem destined to lose one academic year and this will obviously have a big, negative impact on the future of the students. But who cares ? No one it is obvious. Not AP Pandey and certainly not the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. Else why did it take so long for the Centre to act and giving the marching orders to the VC. Now that AP Pandey has been asked to pack his bags, pending the inquiry against him, shouldn’t this have settled everything ? No is the answer and following the midnight raid at MU and the arrest of a number of students and teachers, the stand off now has transformed into one between the Pro VC who has been named the VC in charge and the MU community. In the stand off that continues, no one has bothered to look at the plight of the students. This is how a university is unmade and thrown to the garbage of mediocrity and this is exactly what is happening at MU. And talking about MU, one cannot help but ponder over the state of higher education in Manipur. A point which has been made more than once in this column and again made to come to this point, thanks to the ongoing agitation at MU in which education should be the core issue.
It is with this in mind that opinions and feedbacks from some patrons of The Sangai Express were sought. The suggestions sought were on steps that may be taken up to improve the standard of education specially after Class 12. The responses from the patrons were speedy and spelt out what steps may be taken up to address the shortfall. This is where the suggestions from a retired Government official gains credence. Private investment in higher education is one point the gentleman in question put forth pointing out that while this is high in other parts of the country, it is not the case in Manipur. Even the laws passed for both Sangai University and Manipur International University are full of flaws, specially in the case of the latter where which gives blanket power to the university, pointed out the gentleman. And when one talks about private investment, one is reminded of the numerous private universities which have sprung up all over the country, with some of them actively advertising themselves here in Manipur. Suffice it to say that for parents who can afford it, private universities are the destination for many of their children after the Class 12 stage. This of course comes with a huge price and not all parents are financially placed to send their children to private universities. There could be many reasons why Manipur has not been able to attract private universities and to counter this, the said gentleman suggested inviting them by providing incentives such as subsidised land, power, water etc. To think that neighbouring Assam is today home to a number of private universities such as Don Bosco University, Downtown University etc should tell a story of where education features in the priority list of the Government and the people of Manipur.

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