Kuki Student Organisation-General Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) and All Naga Student Association, Manipur (ANSAM) have urged the concerned authorities to re-open schools for all classes in Manipur.
In a joint press statement issued on Sunday, ANSAM and KSO-GHQ said, “Looking at the grim situation of children and adolescence, different kinds of negative impacts have fallen upon them as a result of the prolonged closure of schools”. As such, both the student bodies said they were constrained to issue this statement for immediate reopening of schools for all the classes with suitable SOPs.
According to the joint statement, the two student bodies have observed the relative improvement of Covid-19 situations in the whole state. Opening of all the market including Ima Keithel (market), religious and social programs have started resuming to operate and electioneering process with massive rallies and gatherings had taken place recently in the state, the statement added.
“Following all these actions, we do not see the surging of Covid-19 cases in the state. Rather, the Covid-19 cases have gone down considerably. As such, the situation is becoming conducive for carrying out all the activities including resuming of schools,” they stated.
ANSAM and KSO-GHQ then said that online classes are effective only when the parents are educated and where they are accorded by favourable facilities like regular power supply, internet network and basic equipment. “Whereas, the sad fact is that the majority the population of the hills could not afford those basic online equipment—smart-phones, laptops etc. and private tuitions. Moreover, irregular power supply and pathetic internet network services in the villages including district headquarters happen to be the greater hurdles for online education in the hill areas,” KSO-GHQ and ANSAM further said, adding, “Thus, unlike the valley areas, adoption of online teaching learning is not practical and the only solution is resumption of physical classes”.
The two student bodies then said the prolonged absence of academic atmosphere has adversely affected the children. “Substantive abuses and all kinds of mischievous acts are looming large amongst the students”, they added.
Therefore, KSO-GHQ and ANSAM strongly urged the concerned authorities to make all necessary arrangements for opening of schools for all the classes with appropriate SOPs to “restore the academic atmosphere and to ensure academic progression of the state as a whole”. They said that without any delay, the concerned authorities of the “entire schools” should be allowed to start all the necessary processes for opening of the academic session.
“It is also pertinent to express our deep concern over the order of the Directorate of Education (S) stating for uniform academic session with CBSE that will have serious ramifications in the state,” they said. “We urge the state government to maintain the status quo of the existing academic session, and if at all the need for the change arises, the entire stakeholder should be consulted to draw a proactive and pragmatic decision on the same matter,” they added.