Imphal: A large number of uniformed school students protested in Imphal on Wednesday to campaign for a ‘disturbance-free education zone’.
Parents and guardians of the students also took part in the demonstration held on the road in front of the Samushang Upper Primary School, Imphal West under the aegis of Coordinating Committee on Disturbance Free Educational Zone Demand, an apex body of various student and teacher bodies.
The committee has been campaigning for the cause since 2018.
“Stop demanding money from the educational institutions”, read one of the placards displayed by the students. Others read, “Stop using students as tools for ransom”, “Respect the rights of the students”, “Make education an essential service,” “Don’t terrorize students”, etc.
Education and academic affairs secretary of Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Thounaojam Somo Luwang told reporters that education institutions should be free from all kinds of disturbances that adversely affect the academic atmosphere.
While asking everyone not to create any type of disturbance in the education sector, he demanded the concerned authority of the state government to fill up vacant posts of the teachers in government colleges and schools to prevail an academic atmosphere.
He said that over 581 posts of lecturers in government colleges and 3,311 graduate teachers and 2,758 primary teachers in government schools are lying vacant.
This has greatly disturbed the academic atmosphere in the government educational institutions, he alleged.
The committee has been demanding making educational institutions free from all kinds of disturbances since many years ago and urged all concerned to stop victimizing students as a result of any type of conflict.
Every section of the society, including state actors and non-state actors need to ensure that the education sector is disturbance free, he added.
The DESAM leaders said the primary themes of the campaign are putting a stop to the practice of using students as a means of achieving certain ends, making the education sector a disturbance free zone and understanding the importance of education.
He demanded an effective implementation of the education policy in the state.
He also demanded inclusion of the education sector in the essential service category so that educational institutions can be open and classes conducted during bandhs, blockades and any other forms of strikes.