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Education :: A View on the Present Higher Education System of Manipur

A View on the Present Higher Education System of Manipur
N. Samungou Singh *

Higher education has expanded over the years in Manipur, both in terms of the number of institutions and enrolment of students. From only one college in 1946-47, today higher education is imparted through 2 universities and 68 colleges including 7 women colleges but concentrated mainly in the valley districts. Of these 68 colleges affiliated under Manipur University, 28 colleges are under government management including 2 colleges of teacher education, one Medical (RIMS) and one Law College (LMS Law College). The number of aided colleges is 6 and remaining are privately managed colleges including 3 Law Colleges and one college of Physical Education. In terms of enrolment also, there has been a massive expansion in higher education. From only 60 students in 1947-48, it rose to 35,424 in 2001-2002. The share of girl students to the total enrolment has also increased considerably, from only 2.01 percent in 1950-51 to 44.3 percent in 2001-2002.

The progress of higher education in the State in terms of quality is not encouraging. Majority of the students in the colleges of Manipur appears to have anticipated at the time they entered the college that their higher education after secondary school stage would help them to better their employment prospects. They continue their study without any definite objective. Many of them don t have keen interest in higher learning. They come to the colleges in the hope of getting jobs for which only such education would qualify them. The number of competent teachers is not many. There are a number of part-time teachers in the colleges. The norms set out by the U.G.C. are ignored in recruiting the part-time teachers. The gap between the students and teachers, and students to students has also widened in Manipur. The academic interactions between teachers and students and among students themselves have been very limited. In such situations, even the serious-minded students do not have much of a chance of developing their potentialities.

The present higher educational system in the State is not up to the desired standard. The quality of education in the colleges has deteriorated due to the mushroom growth of private colleges. These colleges are without adequate infrastructures and proper facilities. There are repots of irregular admission procedures, recruitment of incompetent teachers and financial hardship to make payment of teachers salaries etc. in these colleges. There have been mismanagement and corruption, and lack of proper academic atmosphere except in few urban colleges in the State.

There is inability to maintain proper academic calendar. The frequent bandhs, strikes and boycotts are the main hindrances in maintaining proper academic calendar. The most disturbing situation is the lack of proper academic atmosphere in the colleges and attitude of both teachers and students. If there are boycott of classes or a half-holiday, both students and teachers seem to enjoy and take advantage of the situations. They do not come to the colleges on these days. Even departments/faculties are closed. Another disheartening situation is that if some sections or groups of people threatened to call a bandh on a particular day only few students and teachers come to the colleges and few departments/faculties are opened on such days even it is call off or postponed in the last minute.

There are also lack of students' knowledge and skills necessary to cope with the demands of their courses. Discipline, commitment and basic knowledge etc. are lacking. Lack of proper and adequate academic atmosphere, parental and government support and existence of corruption are some the reasons for these situations. Therefore it is not surprising that many parents send their children outside the State for their studies.

The parents and teachers play an important role in sensitizing students about their educational and career choices. Students are to be informed of the modern avenues and changes from time to time. There is a need of a closer and consistent contact with the students and motivate them. No substantial efforts could be seen in this regard in the colleges of Manipur. There are no formal counseling centres in the colleges and no information is being disseminated to the students properly about their educational and career choices. Instead, different aspects and scopes of various subjects are being rendered to the students, that also only in some few colleges. Most of the parents also do not even bother where and how their children past their time. Thus the students themselves appear determine their educational and career choices.

The present higher education system has contributed to the problem of unemployment in the State. There has been increase in the number of graduates in the faculties of science, arts and commerce. There is lack of professional and technical institutions. State government cannot provide employment to all the graduates coming out from the general colleges. The State has also no large-scale industries to absorb these educated youths. These create a serious unemployment problem in the State.

A number of suggestions or solutions to the problem of higher education and graduate unemployment can be made. These include the qualitative improvement of the college curricula, restricting the intake into the degree courses, introduction or opening of professional and vocational subjects/courses, setting up of career counseling units equipped with the latest information bulletins about the development of the prospective careers etc. Parents and teachers should be the effective and motivating forces of the students besides guiding them. There is also a need for improvement of the present system of higher education in the State. This can be brought only when students do their own academic activity, strict adherence of proper academic calendar, proper regulations to increase expenditure and adequate attention of government on education.


N. Samungou Singh is a Ph. D. Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-67. He can be contacted at samungou@rediffmail.com

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