Laikon UP School gives thrust to extracurricular activities


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 17 : Under the firm conviction that education is not just academic knowledge, the Laikon Upper Primary School at Kongba Makha Nandeibam Leikai has begun taking formal classes on certain extracurricular activities such as traditional dance, Thang-Ta and Kang (an indigenous Manipuri game) every Saturday from last month (October) onwards to equip the students with the knowledge of tradition and value.
Speaking to The Sangai Express, Headmaster Wanglembam Gobin Singh said that Laikon Upper Primary School  was established in 1987 by the State Government.
Saying that the school only had four students in the 2018-19 session and it was on the verge of abolishment due to low rate of enrolment as only two more students were enrolled in the next session, Gobin said that more and more students started to admit to the school from the 2020-21 session onwards.
As per the Headmaster, 53 students were enrolled in the school in the 2020-21 session while 168 were admitted in the 2021-22 session.
The school currently has 179 students (from Nursery to Class VIII).
Saying that the school, however, has only eight teachers (five male and three female teachers) and to make up for the shortage three additional teachers are being hired, Gobin maintained that the infrastructure of the school is also not adequate to accommodate all the students.
He went on to state that classrooms of the school are being split by erecting temporary walls to accommodate the students of different classes.
On taking up the extra-curriculum initiative, the  Headmaster said that the school started teaching traditional dance, Thang-Ta and Kang by using the No School Bag Day announced by the Government to good advantage so as to instil discipline among the students from the first Saturday of October last.
Continuing that a class on Thougal (Leima) Jagoi is being conducted from 9 am to 10.30 am every Saturday with 75 students by engaging separate art teacher Surjitkumar from Kongba Makha Nandeibam Leikai and one of his associates, he added that  the teachers also wear traditional clothes whilst in the class.
He further stated that some female teachers also take the lesson on traditional dance from the Gurus so that they could teach the students when the Gurus are absent.
"People who attend the dance class are made to wear traditional clothes," he added.
Gobin maintained that the dance class is being conducted in its truest form and by following all traditional practices.
Stating that a class on Thang-Ta is being conducted for the boys every Saturday, Gobin maintained that the teachers of Thang-Ta class are Laishram Sanatombi of Mangang Luwang Khuman Lup Keirao and his associate Priyag.
Like in the dance class, some teachers are also made to join the Thang-Ta class so that the class can continue in the absence of hired teachers, he said.
The class on Kang, on the other hand, is being conducted by Toijam Swami, he added.
Saying the many students used to skip classes as they could not afford the extra clothes for dance, Thang-Ta and Kang classes, Gobin maintained that the owner of Wangjam Ramo and Son, Ucheckon, fortunately,  donated 90 phaneks, 90 khudeis and 200 t-shirts in view of the difficulties faced by the students.
He thanked Wangjam Ramo and Son for their kind gesture.
Maintaining the salary of the teachers who conduct special classes are being given from the contribution made by the teachers of the school, Gobin stated that the initiative was taken up to keep the students healthy and build  discipline.
The majority of the students at Laikon Upper Primary School are from the nearby areas of Kongba, he said and added that there is an auto service for students who are from distant areas.
The salary of the auto driver is Rs 2,500, he  continued and added that the school didn't charge any fee for the transportation service earlier but due to the increasing rate of enrolment, Rs 200 has been charged per month per head.
The school now has five auto-rickshaws, Gobin said.
Dance teacher Surjitkumar said that the initiative taken up by the school to impart cultural knowledge to the students is indeed encouraging.
Saying that the school is getting recognition from many due to the selfless contribution of its teachers, he urged the State Government to provide some sort of assistance to the teachers  to make Laikon Upper Primary School a better school.