The teachers on protest do have a point but the appeal of the Chairman of the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) should also be taken in the right spirit. 7th Pay this is what the Council of Teachers’ Association, All Manipur Elementary School Teachers’ Association, All Manipur Government Lecturers’ Welfare Association and All Manipur Secondary School Teachers’ Association are demanding and staying away from duty during the Class XI and Class XII examinations is one of their decisions. Tough to say if the appeal of the COHSEM Chairman will cut ice with the teachers who are on strike, but remember the Class XII examinations is one of the most important stages in the life of a student and it is this stage which will determine the future of the young students. And staying away from examination duty in pursuit of their demand will not exactly be doing justice to the young students. The time is running short. The Class XII examination is scheduled to start from February 14-that is in less than four days and the stand of the teachers must have made many students uneasy. It is at this stage when students would be preparing for so many competitive examinations such as NEET, JEE just to name two while many more would be setting their eyes on getting admission to some of the more reputed institutions and universities for their higher studies. Should students of Manipur be placed under such a disadvantage ? Class XII exams may be all about competing with students from Manipur itself, but look beyond this point and the young students will have to compete with their peers from other parts of the country and the present situation must have rubbed their confidence the wrong way and this is saying something a lot at this crucial stage.
Not creating a conducive atmosphere for the young students-this is a point which has been repeated numerous times in this column. Students studying in schools affiliated to CBSE will have no such problem and so will the lone school in Manipur affiliated to the CISCE. This obviously places the young students of Manipur under a huge disadvantage and this is something which all concerned should take note. By all means the demand of the teachers is justified and if the State Government is not in a position to pay them the stated pay scale then dilly dallying the matter and making up stories for some short term arrangement will not help. Let the Government make it clear that it is not just in a position to implement the said Pay scale and spell out the reasons succinctly. On the other hand, it is also worth reminding all concerned that it is the private school teachers who have been producing the best students each year and the fact that they do this at a pay much lower than those employed by the Government is food for thought. Now that it has taken the Chairman of COHSEM to come out publicly and appeal to the teachers to call off their protest, perhaps all concerned need to sit down together and work things out for one here is talking about the future of the young students. Dampening their spirit at this stage is certainly unwanted. Let the Government also take heed.