Why thousands head outside for further studies The all important poser
No doubt there must be many pressing issues which need the undivided attention of the Government, but it is time to include the state of education, particularly education at the higher level in the list of the pressing issues. The Government may start the spadework by raising certain inward questions. Why is it that thousands of students from Manipur make a beeline for pursuing higher education outside the State after their Class XII stage ? To get anywhere near the answer, the Government should have the moral conviction to admit that the same scene may have been witnessed at the school level, if not for the excellent work done by the privately run educational institutions. And to think that a number of private schools, especially the mission schools, have been at the receiving end of some power players down the decades and everyone should hang their heads in shame. This is where questions may well be raised on what has happened to the tall claim of the Government that law and order situation has improved significantly since 2017. The primary objective of the Government may be on the Government run schools under its School Fagathanshi slogan, and here it should be acknowledged that improving schools, whether run by the Government or enterprising private parties should not be seen in isolation of the social and political reality. And it stands that ‘law and order’ need not be seen strictly within the prism of the activities of the proscribed outfits or armed outfits, but also on how peacefully and gainfully students are allowed to go on with their academic pursuit. Students who have made the cut for NEET, JEE and other professional courses may need to move out for academic reasons, but how about students who are pursuing higher studies such as BA/BSc/BCom ? Why aren’t colleges in Manipur the preferred choice of the students and their parents and guardians ? Exposure could be one answer, but then why don’t the colleges based here in Manipur attract students from other States as it would also mean a kind of an exposure to a new place, new ideas and new people ? This is a question which the Government and those engaged in the field of education should have raised a long time back. What about the different student organisations ? Have they given any thought to this ?
Thousands of students, each year, make their way to different places for their higher studies every year. This is the reason why Delhi has the Manipur Students’ Association, Delhi (MSAD), Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh and closer home Shillong, Guwahati etc too have the same or similar such organisation. On the face this should be fine, but remember not all parents are placed that well financially to be able to afford sending their children outside, but it is the grim reality here that has constrained many to opt for places outside Manipur, just so that their children can pursue their higher studies without much disturbances. Let the Government focus on this reality. If possible let a task force be formed and let them study the situation, the social and political reality to draw a conclusion. Let the power players also come to the realisation that in foisting their agenda on the young students, particularly the student organisations they are doing a great disservice to the place as a whole. Education should not be compromised at the altar of getting across one’s point of view or agenda. Leave the students alone, is the important and urgent call. For starters don’t involve the students in issues which should ideally be dealt by the adults of society. Don’t encourage them to take to the streets to air any stand. The truth is, no parents would want to see their children taking to the streets to protest and this is one reason why many young students are packed off to other cities in the country once they finish their Class XII. This is the reality and if the reality hurts then everyone should acknowledge that the script for this reality was penned down the ages.