TODAY -

Fighting a lost battle: The Head Masters

Rongreisek Yangsorang *

A Govt school at Chamu in a dilapidated state tells the true story
A Govt school at Chamu in a dilapidated state tells the true story - Pix :: TSE



The present Manipuri society is certainly and greatly alarmed at the poorly managed government schools with wild rumour painted in the darkest colours that the local education system will be unnecessarily discredited. It is feared that the mounting pressure of hostile public opinion about the schools which are unable to rise to the mark may render closure of government schools.

In the HSLCE/11, there are, of course, quantitative gains, the percentage of pass in government high schools rising by some degrees, though continuously falling standards. The sentiment of the guardians on the heated issue of failure is becoming frenetic by the day. The one thing sadly lacking is support---whose or what support? It is the supportable base encircled by a team of bureaucrats of clean image and a few selfless law makers in the state legislative assembly who have a vision of a glorious future in the education sector. Whether the state has men of such stature to revive the unproductive educational institutions? Surely, it does have.

What a cursed profession teaching in government schools has become and what a thankless job it is------laments a head mistress of repute of Imphal city area. At a time when the responsibilities and functions of Head Masters of Government High Schools have become greater, they are placed in a pitiful grade following the implementation of new pay scales which have completely demoralized them. They have felt deceived and their status in the society withdrawn. They are not demanding what shouldn't be theirs. They are only demanding that the pre-downward revision scale of pay of Rs.7500 with a corresponding Grade Pay of Rs.4800 PM should be restored at once as is in the case of their equivalents in the same department.

Why is this discrimination? In every revision, injustice of every sort has been done to them. In fact, the existing head masters are occupying their posts after clearing tiers of departmental promotion and after having put in more than thirty years of service on an average, quite unlike those officers in other government departments. Straight away, I can say that it is their lifelong achievement in the profession.

It is difficult to believe that the downgraded head masters of government high schools in Manipur will contribute extra stamina to give a face-lift to school education in the state. The grade pay of Rs.4400 meant for them is one hundred rupees less than that of senior trained graduate teachers which is in sharp contrast to central pay structures. It is nothing but a step further for abolition of the posts of head masters of high schools in Manipur. Can we expect a better education without head masters in our society?

It is impracticable. Manipur alone will be the state in the country to downgrade head masters without justification. Let us recall the status and pay scale of head masters in the past. Also, as per the modified Central Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2008: dated 12.3.2009, trained graduate teachers are placed in PB-3 with a Grade Pay of Rs.5400 PM.

In the most unlikely manner, the recent orders of the Finance Department (PIC) of Manipur: dated 9-6-2011 has not covered the head masters of high schools in Manipur. It is really saddening. The dictum that performing employees deserve better pay scales will have no rationale and merit. There are many departments whose officers with bulky pay are failing in many respects, and are unable to provide the basic needs of the people. Why to blame only teachers, not those who have destroyed the very foundation of educational structure for poor performances of students in the Board Examinations? There are various factors responsible for it. One factor---High School Teachers are often called out for different Governmental assignments while teaching in the schools.

While private high schools are generally able to perform better, overt commercialization of education has greatly affected the quality of education. It is important to note that the rot in the government schools has also spread to private schools. Despite charging hefty fees, the corresponding input in teaching cannot be achieved. Invariably, students have to resort to private tuition to attain proficiency and the ability to appear in examinations. Education of that fashion is beyond the means of low income groups. In most of the two hundred government high schools in Manipur, there are no clerks, and no head masters. Some sixty high schools have headmasters of their own while the rest of them have none. There are schools which have no mathematics teachers.

Over a hundred posts of head masters have been lying vacant in the department for so long with no arrangement in sight to fill the said posts as well. In the early 2013AD, two-third of the head masters out of sixty will retire from service on superannuation. At the same time, more than a hundred posts of assistant head masters of high schools have not been filled in the absence of seniority list as yet. There will be no assistant head masters who can be promoted to the posts of head masters of high schools in that year. In this way, a large number of govt. high schools in Manipur will be head masterless in 2013.

Under the circumstances, it is hard to imagine the overall set up of those schools by that time. A thousand graduate teachers of different streams may be appointed in the years to come without having to bother for promotion of teachers to higher posts. The school education department will not attract talented persons to become teachers when there is no planning or arrangement for promotion of teachers to higher posts in spite of a fat budget for big spending with the allocation for school education in the state budget estimates for 2011-12 being more than Rs. 613 crores.

On helpless head masters: They are having a hard time in the schools. and find it difficult to cope with the situation whenever erring teachers revolt for their own conveniences flexing their muscles. Head masters are not allowed to function freely in the management of school affairs due to disturbances from different quarters worsened by growing student indiscipline as a chronic malaise. Becoming the soft-targets of any bloc, they work only on the diktats of political heavy-weights and ultras. They have suffered a lot and have become sacrificial lambs at the hands of the "many."In my enquiry, I have found that the existing Head Masters and Head Mistresses hardly have the backing of strong men in the Council of Ministers or the State Bureaucracy to strengthen their platform. That's why their position looks utterly feeble and awkward.

With the advent of electronic media in everyday life, responsibilities of head masters have compounded. They are occupied with huge works. Their primary objective is to improve teaching and learning in the schools, but due to shortage of teachers and without adequate infrastructure like computers, they are handicapped and are all helpless to move forward. At this juncture, the attention of the head of the department may be drawn that head masters are not supposed to prepare pay bills of the employees and go to treasury offices to negotiate with, every time. Besides, they are to be conversant with computerization of data, data-bank and websites when the gadgets are not easily available in most of the government high schools. The department of school education of Manipur seems to be unfazed by these increased work-loads of head masters.

Till the late 70s, Govt.aided high schools were better managed, and working discipline was very much intact. By the missionary zeal of the efficient teachers appointed for the 109 high Schools taken over by the state govt. of Manipur in August, 1978, the capacity of the students was enhanced through internal assessment, constant counseling and other similar techniques. In my vivid memory, Head Masters of High Schools of yester years were pivotal earning respect from their colleagues, and teachers too were committed to the profession. Their advantage was that the department of that time did not adopt an over centralized approach. In other words, a cordial working relationship was evolved between the directorate and the head masters.

Today, however, the shape of education if to refer to govt. schools has drastically changed and enough is already known relating to the failure of the system when the underprivileged class mostly ends up in these institutions. Due to unabated political interference, inappropriate recruitment of teachers without filling the vacant posts for years together, adding of more teachers to the overstaffed schools and lack of essential facilities, a sizeable number of such schools have now been reduced to mere enrolling offices. Or there is every chance of Govt. High Schools becoming dead-wood as students can make a choice to switch over to ever expanding private high schools in Manipur. There are scores of pressing issues that require a quick overhaul. Will it be a pipe dream to reform the system----fighting a lost battle?

Born a minority in the ocean of major communities here in Manipur, I have no political backing, and mine is of a poor background. The only wealth I am in possession of is the legacy of my semi-literate dad's spirit whose dedication to the spread of modern education in a hill hamlet remains worthy of introspection. In 47, among the prominent political figures in Manipur then was a liberal thinking Toijam Heitonbi Singh of Nambol in the Imphal valley whose teaching as a leader was inspirational for my father to start a vernacular school. Later, the leader was elected to the territorial assembly of Manipur.

Let my investigation, my passion for innovative ideas, and still what could be the fearless spirit but not in any spirit of boastfulness fire the imagination of many a student and teacher in Manipur-----to save government schools from decay for the sake of children of poor parents and those who have no money in their purses, otherwise poor students of the present and the coming generation will find themselves at the ultimate losing end. It is for a caution of all.

Lastly, the centralized edifice of decision-making in which even minute procedural matters to be directed by the department will hinder every scheme of school education. It is only fair if the department reconsiders its over-centralized approach and allows heads of institutions to execute their functions without too much strictures. The head of the department may skillfully employ different meters to suit the fast changing educational scenario in Manipur.

A good head of the department, who is convinced of the imperfection of human nature, must be conscious of the great liability to error in managing the affairs of the vast education sector which is like a mini empire: and therefore he will be anxious to afford to every individual the readiest means of bringing to his notice whatever may require his intervention. To secure this selective objective, he will never be one-sided to distribute sweets among his employees equally. The kind of venture initiated by a high profile officer of high grade will be always rewarding.


* Rongreisek Yangsorang (a resident of Longa Koireng, P.O. Langjing, Manipur - 795113) contributes to e-pao.net regularly. . The writer can be contacted at yangsorangkoireng(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on July 12, 2011.



* 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
  • Kang Khichri chaba @Kwakeithel : Gallery
  • Plastic Surgery Day @RIMS : Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @Keishampat : Gallery
  • Human rights of women in our society
  • AFSPA Gesture and Better Alternative
  • Leisure :: Poem
  • Restore Life After Burns : Plastic Surgery
  • IM accuses AR of 'cold-blooded murder'
  • Konung Kang Chingba #1 : Gallery
  • Dont waste searching for word/phrases
  • Hill People & Merger of Manipur
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #5
  • U-Mangra for biofuel for economic devpt
  • Painting competition on environment
  • Condemn Moreh terror attack
  • Climbing Shirui Hills, Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Ichangthoubi, Thotmungchan :: eMing
  • Kang Chingba - Rath Yatra : Book
  • Why the impasse at Manipur University
  • Condolence Message for Tamenglong
  • Maharaj parleys Bizando
  • Opt for fruit/vegetable beauty product
  • DG Assam Rifles meets Governor
  • Recreation - a Serious Business
  • Tuilha Kolt waterfall @Kpi #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Lamjing Meira Ningsing Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Who Created the Border Pillar Conflict ?
  • EEVFAM amidst Numbness and Noise
  • Special Olympics Unified Cup 2018
  • Path for youth's bright future
  • Addressing core issues
  • Students Vs Centre's man : MU
  • Thangjam Manorama Anniversary: Gallery
  • A reflection on POCSO Act, 2012
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Fear :: Poem
  • War veterans laboured to clean compound
  • Free Career Counselling Program
  • NEFIS writes to University bodies
  • Sit-in-Protest Against House Search
  • 50th World Population Day celebrated
  • Something worrying
  • Congress : 2 days session too short
  • Jadugi Chei :: Funga Wari
  • Tribal protest for MU normalcy : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: What is it ?
  • Some cairns from the way: Artist's retake #2
  • Cry of a Dying River # 36 :: Poem
  • Overview on Manipur University imbroglio
  • Tribal Students memo to HRD on MU
  • India-Vietnam Film Show 2018 at Delhi
  • Why the CM is helpless ?
  • No end in sight to MU crisis
  • Indo-Myanmar Pillar 81 @Kwatha #1: Gallery
  • Global Bamboo Congress @Beijing : Gallery
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #4
  • Kamesh Salam : Speaker at BARC, Beijing
  • Career in Cooperatives
  • Nagaland CM's speech at NEC
  • NPF Rejoinder to JD (U) of July 9
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Unfair Game
  • Expecting documentary proof from villagers
  • Lamjing Meira Ningsing Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Woken Youth Clubs in season of World Cup
  • Converting tourism potential into reality
  • Let me live in your heart :: Poem
  • D-Jent.... Djentleman... Anyone ?
  • Socialism or destruction of humanity ?
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Demand action against KSO activists
  • 3 Manipur girls in BCCI U-19 squad
  • Rights meet on bill outcome
  • Naga integration will be democratic..
  • Ichangi Laidhi #3 :: eRang
  • Modernizing Manipur University Library
  • In the grip of nothingness :: Poem
  • Password protection - I
  • Congenital Heart Defect operated
  • Hill area bandh relaxed temporarily
  • State & central govt must stop conflict
  • Cohesion is sports
  • Explain 'devious purpose'
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur merger agreement 1947
  • Wari Jalsa at New Delhi
  • Congress grass menace in North-East
  • M A Thomas National Human Rights Award
  • What does worry do to us ?
  • Is Manipur a part of India ?
  • Rumours of child lifters : Dangerous
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #3 : Gallery
  • Forest Rights Act 2006 -context of Manipur
  • Supreme Court Hearing on EEVFAM case
  • Cry of a Dying River - 35 :: Poem
  • Terirama Th. met South Korea's first lady
  • Securing security cameras: invisible eye
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland CM's statement
  • Meitei Mayek - are the scales tipped now
  • Patronising non-locals : Nail the insiders
  • UNC oppose indefinite Manipur bandh
  • Tribal University @ Senapati : Gallery
  • Rally to remove MU VC #2 : Gallery
  • Some cairns from the way: Artist's retake #1
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #3
  • UN experts on 'fake encounter' killings
  • Nagaland CM Rio statement on July 4
  • Condemns inhuman eviction by Govt
  • Trainees Certificate of RPL at Kamrup
  • Minor reunited with mother after 26 days
  • Non-Operative Closure of "hole in the heart"
  • We are for the people, for the society
  • Over 30 days : Centre sleeps, MU 'burns'
  • Thokchom Brindashabi Devi :: Profile
  • Kshetri-bengoon Eviction Protest : Gallery
  • Successive pay commissions: It's impact
  • Research Support @ R-Square Design
  • leingakki thouwong - state terrorism
  • Rebuttal: Interview of Ranju Singh
  • Different forces pulling Manipur : Lim
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #3 : Gallery
  • Some ideas for prevention of flood
  • Satisfaction :: Poem
  • Supreme Court hearing on EEVFAM - 2 July
  • Dark lips .. causes and care
  • Training on Handloom Weaver at Hojai
  • CME on 'Congenital Heart Diseases'
  • Nagaland CM should make his stand clear
  • 2019 LS polls : BJP on the offensive
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #4 : Gallery
  • Naga American conference in California
  • Life of an army officer's daughter
  • The Winter Blues :: Poem
  • 16th Mega Miss North East
  • NDPP on Naga integration
  • Allegations against VC holds no ground
  • Rally to remove MU VC #1 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • A Washed-Out Summer Vacation in MU
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #2
  • My short interaction with Penna Donna
  • 9th Men Mega Mister North East
  • Memo submitted to Kiren Rijiju
  • India- no interest to protect its boundary
  • Idea of who is a citizen of the land
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #3 : Gallery
  • Dr Thingnam Kishan Memorial : Gallery
  • Black sheep in movement for ILPS #3
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #2
  • Jackichand Singh signs for FC Goa
  • No co-operation to MU VC
  • Nagaland CM contradicting himself : NPF
  • Career Guidance Workshop at Ukhrul
  • The tales of a forgotten University
  • Pulling at idea of Manipur : Lim, ATC
  • Climbing Shirui Hills, Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • Moirangthem Arup: 90 Km Marathon, Africa
  • Pitfalls on land acquisition for Mapithel Dam
  • Chinese dominance in 21st century
  • Caring for the elderly
  • IIT-G's Technothlon prelims at UAE
  • Mass Rally from Manipur University
  • Nagaland CM releases book by teenager
  • Why trying to dictate media time & again
  • MU, border pillar, Citizenship Bill
  • Oinam Dilip's Painting Exhibition
  • Intl Day Against Drug Abuse : Gallery
  • The Manipur Merger Agreement 1949
  • A road to Mandalay
  • Keeping up: medical diagnostics tech
  • The mother of all preventive strategies
  • Relief camps for Flood affected families
  • The dark side of Indian democracy
  • From three time CM to Oppn leader
  • Khumang Pokpa Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Enduring Theatre of Guerrilla War
  • Intl Day in Support of Victims of Torture
  • Impact of trade & floods on economy
  • Imparting training as profession #2
  • Najmaji's flood fixing formula
  • History of Yoga
  • Intl Day against Drug Abuse
  • Politicising MU issue: by whom ?
  • Effective ban on plastics needed
  • Thaunaphaba Marup :: Funga Wari
  • Naga Nationalism & Naga Integration
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #1
  • If I were :: Poem
  • Is football an anathema to the Indians ?
  • Miss, Mister North East contestants
  • MU Imbroglio: Power games now
  • MU crisis : Centre must act fast
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #3 : Gallery
  • Lamka's Dark Light House
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #1
  • Cry of a Dying River -34 : Poem
  • Textile industry in Manipur
  • Blood Donation Camp at New Delhi
  • Rahmani Program of Excellence
  • Mova Cave, Hungpung, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Expanding Economy Beckons :: Speech
  • Before trains arrive, must read
  • Impact of the Shirui Lily festival
  • Securing Wi-Fi: Negating doorstep threat
  • Blood donation drive in North East
  • Expecting changes in dealing SoO
  • Scourge of drug trafficking
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Letter to JS-MHRD from MUTA
  • JS-MHRD did not meet with MUTA
  • 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
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS