Call for distrubance free education; It is about the future

The very fact that the 12th Disturbance Free Educational Zone Demand Day was held on July 5 at Tribal Research Institute should more than say how the pursuit of formal education has been damned by different forces down the years. This is the 12th edition of the day which means that the academic pursuit of the young students has been disturbed and in some cases even derailed for more than 12 years now. This means a lot for it is more than a decade. Organised by 13 voluntary organisations, comprising student bodies and teacher associations, the very fact that a day has been set aside to ring out a call to let the students study and not disturb their academic pursuit should tell the sorry tale of the condition under which students have been studying and under which teachers have been teaching and moulding the young minds. This commentary is not about what was discussed and what decisions were adopted at the end of the discussion session, but about how students have been at the receiving end of any turmoil that besieges the State. It is not uncommon to see students being called out from their classrooms to come out on the roads and protest on issues which should ideally be dealt by the adults of society. Other than this, the State has also seen how lop sided policies and the inefficacy of the Government departments can puncture the hopes and aspirations of many promising young students. It was not so long back that the State heard about how erroneous mark tabulations had placed a young student way down the merit list in the Class X or Class XII examination and how she should have actually occupied a particular position higher up.
It is errors like this which cut both ways. On the one hand it is about a deserving student denied her rightful position while on the other hand it means demeaning and humiliating the other student who was wrongly placed higher on the merit list. And to think that this can happen here where the number of students appearing for the Class X or Class XII board examinations is nothing when compared to the CBSE or the CISCE. Negligence and incompetency writ large and this can surely be a dampener to the sincere academic pursuit of all students. Not exactly having much to do with making education a free zone, but when one talks about education here, one cannot overlook the pervading private tuition culture in the State, especially in Imphal. Not uncommon to see parents and elders of the family taking their young children to one tuition centre to another on a single day, especially when the child enters her high school stage. Being competitive is perfectly fine but when this competition is viewed and understood only through the prism of private tuitions then it becomes disturbing and herein lies so many questions. Is it a case of the parents wanting their children to excel in everything or is it a case of the children having to make up with the help of private tutors ? Whatever the case, doesn’t this also reflect how the young students are taught inside the class rooms ? All questions, but let it be clear that in the call to make education a disturbance free zone is the yearning to give the best possible to all the young students.