Freebies on offer from schools : Understanding competition

In line with what has been happening in the last few years, so not surprising at all. With the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BOSEM) declaring the results of the Class X examination, many private schools specialising in the plus two  stage and the Science stream have started advertising the achievements of their past students and offering freebies to the meritorious students. Here it is all about marks, the marks scored in the board examination of Class X. And the marks too have been compartmentalised. The freebies are generally categorised for the rank holders, meaning those who are in the top 25 positions; those who have scored 85 percent and more but not rank holders; those who have scored above 80 pc but below 85 percent etc etc. The freebies offered include free admission fee, free tuition fee, free transport fee, free hostel accommodation, free coaching fee in hostel tutorial classes, etc etc. The competition amongst the top schools to attract the best is understood and welcome and this competition will greatly be welcomed by parents and elders of family. However important to keep in mind that making the toppers in the Class X examination, toppers again two years hence when they appear for the Class XII examinations conducted by the Council of Higher  Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM),  should not be such a hard act to follow. It would be so encouraging and nice if any school can publicise how they have made a student who scored 75 or 80 percent in the Class X examination, to be amongst the top 25 position holders in the Class XII examination. This would be the real challenge for the schools and here is hoping that one day Manipur will see such a school emerging in the coming days. Mould the young students and take him or her from the stage of ‘good performance’ to ‘excellent performance,’ and this should be the ultimate test of an educational institution.
The silver lining in this year’s Class X examination results is obviously the report that two students from Government schools have made it to the list of position holders. This is perhaps the best push that can be given to the other Government schools and if two schools can feature in the merit list then others too can. The excellent performance of the two students should send out the message that if they can, there is no reason why the others cannot follow their excellent showing. This is where it becomes important for the private schools offering  freebies to the meritorious students to sincerely study what they can offer to the sincere and hard working students from Government schools. As in the past, this time too, it is schools from Imphal which have hogged the limelight and it would be so much nicer if schools located at the other district headquarters can seriously work and offer competition to the schools located at Imphal. Remember there was a time when the merit list used to be the sole prerogative of mission schools,  but today other private schools have started offering tough competition to the mission schools and this augurs well for the people of Manipur. Let schools located at the other district headquarters, particularly the hill districts, start challenging the near complete monopoly enjoyed by the schools of Imphal. This will certainly go a long way in ensuring more competition and competition undoubtedly brings out the best in everyone. This is what education should be all about.