Interferences in private school affairs rightly or wrongly ?

Dr K Nabachandra Singh
I. Admission- Pre and Post
(a) It starts from day one when some high ranking Higher Secondary private schools of Manipur announce the Admission Bulletin for Class XI admission. The student/social organisations are very many in number in this small state called Manipur which is not even the size of a district of bigger states of the country like UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh etc. These organisations exercise the liberty to impose their agenda rightly or wrongly. At the time of holding admission test, some organisations will insist on allowing every candidate who passed the HSLC Exam to sit for the Entrance Test. They should not lose sight of the technical problems to be faced by the institute concerned. To convince those youngsters who insist on opening the flood gate, without fixing a reasonable bottom-line, let us see technical difficulties likely to be faced by the management of the institutes at the time of admission. About 5000 applicants out of total 27,126 passed in 2018 HSLC Exam may seek class XI admission in a reputed school. It is practically impossible for a private school with accommodating capacity of 500/600 students to arrange admission test of such a huge magnitude. Even if it is conducted on such a large scale, questions may be raised from different quarters the logic behind the conduct of entrance test for 5000 students for enrolling 400 students. Is the institute trying to raise fund through entrance test ? Difficult to get a convincing reply. Hence the method of elimination by fixing a lower limit of eligibility is the common and logical practice followed everywhere. The authority to set a minimum eligibility should rest with the institutions themselves.
It is quite strange that some organisations ask for reservation of some seats for the unsuccessful candidates who are yet to appear compartmental examination some time later. Any sane person on earth will not make such non-issue an issue.
(b) After the declaration of Admission test, various pressure groups of clubs, student/social organisations numbering around 20 come with their demand to admit some students, often numbering 3 to 5, who were not in the selection list. Many of them pose to be messengers of some higher-ups of their respective organisations and presume their demands as legitimate. Why they take so much interest to get some unselected candidates admitted is a thing to be pondered over ? On the other hand, the parents of unselected candidates lose no time in making contact with such organisations to get their wards admitted through them by using any available means. Let us shun this ill practice.
I cannot but recall an episode in connection with the admission of a student in Herbert School some years back. The test result was announced on the day of examination after 4/5 hours. Due process was followed. Even the candidates in the wait-list was accommodated. The seat was saturated. A parent approached us for admission in Class XI even though he was not in the selection list. We denied. However, the same boy was found somehow admitted through one of the pressure groups. See the mindset of the parent who does not hesitate to use any available means, good or bad, to get his work done. Are they not polluting the social fabric ?
II. Infrastructure and admission fee:
Queries about the strength of students and teachers, admission fee, infrastructure etc are made by the Council and ZEO’s. Institutions submit Annual Report to the concerned authorities. Is it not redundant for any organisation other than Government authorised agencies to put questions on these issues ? Teenagers having little knowledge in this regards should leave the matter to the proper authority to assess the capacity building, infrastructure, core competency, requisite amenities etc. In short, various parameters need to be taken into account while dealing with these problems. The state government should be proactive in this regard rather than leaving its responsibility to any unauthorised body.
When one organisation raises the question of fixation of admission fee, another will raise the question of school uniform – use of local products, price index etc etc.
III. School uniform
Everybody in the state knows that there is no big industry worth its name which can manufacture school uniform items. Except for a few items like ‘Phanek’ for the girls from the looms and school bags, the entrepreneurs are not able to produce other items comparable in terms of both quality and quantity with products from outside the state. Take for instance, shirts, pants, ties, shoes, belt which form the major components of school uniform. They are not manufactured here in the state. Everybody would love to encourage good local products at affordable prices. To check, the outflow of money from parents to outside the state for purchase of school uniform is a matter of grave concern for all right thinking persons. Every household on the average has one or more school going children and has to purchase school uniform. Based on this statistics and the state’s economy, a well thought-out plan should be prepared to invest for large scale production of various items of school uniform. It should attract the attention of industrialists from within and without Manipur. The Manipur Government should take lead in this regard. It will generate employment opportunity to a large number of unemployed youths of the state beside checking the outflow of money from the state.
IV. Donation/contribution
Seeking donations for one or other purpose very frequently to the private institutes has become the order of the day. In most cases, the youngsters would fix the amount, from their end as if it is compulsive. This state of affairs is akin to the plight of transporters who face similar troubles almost daily on the national highways of Manipur.

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