TODAY -

Education in Northeast
- Part 2 -

By:- Partha Jyoti Borah *



Educationists argue that it is best to teach the child in its mother tongue. However, in the Northeast there exist thousands of dialect. The problem arises when a child speaking a dialect as his/her mother tongue is imbibed with the education in the official language of a particular state. (For instance Manipuri in Manipur).

The NCF has insisted on "three language formula" emphasising the children's mother tongue (even the dialect) as the best medium of instruction. According to the NCF the trait of multilingualism improves "cognitive growth, social tolerance, divergent thinking and scholastic achievement."

In the contemporary society, English is seen as the language of upward social mobility and Hindi is imposed for national integration. In non-Hindi speaking states like Assam where children come from diverse dialectal backgrounds, the Assamese language remains the lingua franca and the three language formula becomes four language problem for the vast majority of students who do not speak Assamese at their homes.

These children are often trapped in the political movement of identity crisis where language plays a major role. There is also an extreme lack of a cohesive effort on the part of the government in implementing the different dialects as the medium of instruction.

The statistics of matriculation result of the Secondary Education Board of Assam (SEBA) have seen a rising trend with the increase in the pass percentage. The state government attributes its "effective policy" of regularising the teachers' post. According to the government, it has regularised 36,583 posts of teachers and fulfilled 18,339 teaching and non-teaching vacancies under the Department of Education.

However, the result also reveals a startling fact about the growth of private players largely in English medium schools and the downfall of vernacular medium government-run -schools as the major stake of rank holders in matriculation exam comes from the privately run English medium schools where government does not have any major say in terms of appointing the teachers.

However, the government never forgets to hijack the credit (read discredit) of the much hyped matriculation result which is extensively covered by the media. The fate of unsuccessful candidates in the matriculation exam is never taken seriously. The school education should incorporate modules on vocational and professional studies so that self or industrially employable candidate could be generated.

There is also a disturbing trend of sharp decrease in the enrollment in science courses in the Higher Secondary and college levels in Assam. A minimal number of 12,000 to 15,000 get enrolled in the science courses in HS level. It gets squeezed to 15 to 20 students in a major course of science subject in every college.

Former Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University Prof Amar Jyoti Choudhary attributes it to the lack of infrastructure in the college and university level. He blames the government for not releasing sufficient funds. (See related interview).

This is also one of the reasons including job insecurity etc for the massive exodus of students from the Northeast to the other colleges and universities outside. The favoured destinations are Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. This results in the loss of human resource and sustenance of mediocrity in the Northeast.

In a recent incident during the tenure of Prof Choudhary as the VC of Gauhati University, he tried to fill up 110 vacant posts. However, only 60 posts could be filled up because of lack of competent candidates. A survey by a Jorhat based vernacular newspaper revealed that approximately 10,000 students from Assam book one-way tickets to cities like Delhi, Pune and Bangalore for higher education.

Even if a student spends a minimum of Rs 4,000 per month to incur the educational and accommodation expenses in those cities, the expenditure for three consecutive batches of student for one year amounts to a whopping Rs 144 Crore which is not a very good sign keeping in mind the debt ridden economy of Assam. The figure is higher for Nagaland and Manipur.

There are also incidents of students being caught in the unholy nexus of education mafias. In a sub-judice case, one Neeraj Baruah (name changed) had opted in a Delhi based MBA institute for a regular management course through an agent in Guwahati. But after reaching the institute he discovered that he was enrolled in a distance learning programme.

The institute also charged him with a compulsory hostel fee for two years (!). There are many such cases where students pay their admission fees in Imphal or Guwahati for various professional courses in private institutes in Delhi, Bangalore etc. When they reach the institute, they find the institutes running from a small house in a residential area.

Better job prospect drives the students to opt for such institutes. In the universities of Northeast barring a few courses in Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University, placement cells are non-existent. Universities of the Northeast being the knowledge generating entity for the society have miserably failed to generate employable students with a sense of entrepreneurship in them.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati which has hundred percentage placement record, however, enrolls students through an all-India entrance examination for undergraduate and post graduate courses. In undergraduate courses only few students from Northeast could qualify in IIT.

When the nation is striving (!) to assimilate the 'Northeasterns' into its 'mainstream' socially, politically and economically, through various policies, a certain educational reservation in terms of the place of birth is the need of the hour for the Northeast.

When education has to be everyone's prerogative, the private institutes are succumbing it to a commodity of rich and elite with its rocketing fee structure. On top of that, to encourage private sector investment in university education, the state government has enacted the Assam Private University Act, 2007.

No doubt this law would allow the establishment of self-financed private universities without a burden on the state exchequer in terms of funds or land. But such educational growth without any regulation in fee structure will only give rise to an unruly nexus of private financer (read education loan) and education mafia.

Assam's two prominent organisations Asom Sahitya Sabha and Sankardev Sangha have come up with two private universities. Sanga's university will provide professional courses extending from BCA to MBA, besides dealing with research on the philosophy of Sankardeva.

"The syllabus for the professional courses will also incorporate a paper on Sankardeva and his philosophy" informed Secretary of the Sangha Hariprasad Hazarika. The Asom Sahitya Sabha's university, on the other hand, will focus on "cultural studies".

In Manipur the education scenario can't be the worst than the prevailing one. When the government schools are hitting duck one after another in terms of pass percentage in the matriculation and higher secondary level, the privately run schools largely by the Christian missionaries are doing well in the state.

Private tuitions, especially, for the science subjects in the higher secondary level and coaching centres for engineering and medical entrances are the only flourishing industries in Manipur.

Government's apathy in stemming such educational minting machines and insurgents' interference in the sector are pushing the whole sector in to a quagmire. In a recent incident, an Imphal based coaching institute reportedly has to give a whopping amount in lakhs to the insurgent groups to open a junior college.

On the other hand, the Manipur University is, perhaps the only university in the country to have a paramilitary camp in its campus. In both these cases students are at the receiving end.

Worth mentioning here is, when approximately 7 years back Manipur was striving to get rid of the mass copying and cheating in the matriculation and the higher secondary examination, Democratic Students Association of Manipur (DESAM), which is believed to be an offshoot of a powerful insurgent group came in heavily, adhering punitive action to those indulging in such unscrupulous activities.

It has also banned private tuitions by the teachers of the government run schools, which is largely believed to be the reason behind degeneration of quality education in those schools.

Concluded.....




* Partha Jyoti Borah is Editor, The Northeast Voice, an English Monthly published from Delhi, and regularly contributes to e-pao.net . They can be contacted at nevoice(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted at e-pao.net on 29th April 2009.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Yoga Day: Celebrating Your Health
  • Chak-hao - black gold of Manipur
  • In response to the culture of shaming
  • 3rd Documentor Imphal
  • 4th International Day of Yoga by AR
  • Appeals for Resolution of MU Crisis
  • Recommendation to control Flood damages
  • International Yoga Day at Loktak PS
  • After Flood : Introspection about the future
  • MUSU & JAC : Hot issues before the Govt
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #2
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Letter to President on Crisis at MU
  • Precision medicine & life sciences
  • Black topping-can ground leveling be behind
  • Condemns security force intrusion in MU
  • Developer wanted at LMP, Konjeng Leikai
  • AR gears up for International Yoga Day
  • NPF rejoinder to NDPP : 20 June
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie : 20 June
  • For a little bit more
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Inungshi, Gaichanglungliu :: eMing
  • Taking 'Hau' Music to Rest of World
  • Kakching bags cleanest city in NE Award
  • JRF (Junior Research Fellow) at IBSD
  • Oxfam India launches emergency response
  • VC, MU - Resign immediately :: MUTA
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Translation of ancient Manipur texts begin
  • Pre Yoga Capsule organized
  • NDPP Rejoinder on 19 June
  • NPF Youth Wing Rejoinder on 19 June
  • Favouring digital govt : still a Virtual dream
  • June 18 Anniv : Consult all stakeholders
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS