TODAY -

Improving school management in Manipur

Oinam Nabakishore Singh *



In the result of High School Leaving Certificate Examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, published in local newspapers on the 26th May, 2018, there was no student from Government schools in the first twenty five toppers. This news speaks volumes about the state of affairs in state government run schools.

It is time to look at the causes of such dismal performance. We should also look at the reasons behind the success by private schools, especially schools like Little Flower School, Nirmala Bas, Catholic School, Canchipur, etc.

There are a lot of learning we can get from private schools if we have to improve our schools. The reasons for success or failure of schools, just like any organization or firm, can be found in many of the factors listed below. These factors are not exhaustive, but they are some of the key enabling variables.

(1) Management Structure and Management

Management structure of entirely government run schools is vertical with Cabinet Minister of Education at the top of the hierarchy followed by Commissioner/Secreary of School Education in the Administrative Department in the Secretariat. In field formation, the department of school education has Director as Head of Department at State Level, ZEOs at the District or Zonal Levels in order to monitor the schools. At the school level, there is hardly any supervisory authority except the Principal or Headmaster.

The School Management and Development Committee comprising of local representatives and philanthropists does not have anyadministrative and supervisory authority. Its main job is to make recommendations to higher authority to provide the necessary infrastructure or facilities. In the hill districts of Manipur, school education up to eight standards is managed and run by Autonomous District Councils with supporting staff. In this arrangement, day to day management of government schools has to be carried out by the Principal or Headmaster.

The relevant question is whether the Principal/Headmaster are equipped with necessary administrative powers and authority, skills and knowledge of the job, appropriate reward and punishment for performance. Because of the several pressure groups and interference from various quarters, it is quite likely that the Principal/Headmaster do not enjoy complete independence in exercise of authority in school management. He himself has got to be a committed and dedicated administrator to lead by examples. He has to lead the entire team of teaching and non-teaching staff to perform at the best desirable level.

In case of failure to achieve the target, there has got to be well-defined and clearly understood punishments for Principal/Headmaster or subject teachers. Of course, reward for achieving the target shall have to be built in. Being human beings, it is not only necessary to guide and motivate the Principal/Headmasters, but it is also necessary to make them accountable for failure to achieve the target, which can be set after consultation. ZEOs and other functionaries in the District Education Office, should focus more on the supervision and monitoring on various key performance indicators(KPI) of the school.

The Principal/Headmaster are also required to closely monitor the progress of various well-defined activities of the school. In the present arrangement, the power of ZEOs, Principals, Headmasters , who are obligated to perform the tasks of education administration are diluted mainly due to interference of teaching community. It is a common knowledge many government teachers are supporters of politicians during election and there exists a quid pro quo arrangement.

Nowadays, student bodies have also participated in education administration when they feel that the orders and system of the Government are considered not to be in the interest of the students. It is quite natural that the vacuum of lack of administration by the state government is being filled up by CSOs and Student bodies. The present management structure and management, if left unaltered, will do more harm than good.

It is high time to learn from private schools and erstwhile grant-in-aid schools, which have proved to be much better managed than the present government schools. Ram Lal Paul High School at Keishamthong is always given an example of an excellent grant-in-aid school till it was converted into a fully funded and government managed school. Even my school, Ningthoukhong High School in Bishenpur District was a grant-in-aid school, which was managed very well by the local leaders with a lot of dedication and commitment.

It had the distinction of having students like Prof.(Dr.) G.S. Moirangthem, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Manipur, who secured 2nd position in Manipur in the High School Leaving Certificate Examination, 1969 of Board of Secondary Education, Assam, and I myself , who secured 1st position in the High School Leaving Certificate Examination, 1975 of Board of Secondary Education, Manipur.

The reasons behind our success has a lot to do with competent teachers recruited by the School Management Committee from the local community and their supervision in every respect of such grant-in-aid school. All of us know that the successful private schools are run mainly by a dedicated management Committee with responsibility being taken by the promoters whole-heartedly.

2) Proposed new Management Structure for Government Schools.

73rd and 74th Amendments of Constitution of India, which are incorporated in the Acts of urban local bodies and Panchayat Raj Institutions, mandated that primary education is to be devolved upon these bodies. Except for primary schools set up by the Autonomous District Councils in the hills, most of the primary schools are in the government sector. There are still some grant-in-aid schools, which are also demanding for absorption in the government fold. What do we have to do if we want improvement in the management of government schools.

As mentioned above, we have to adopt some of the best practices of private schools if we are to compete with them. Incidentally, I was Commissioner of NavodayaVidyalayaSamiti, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Human Resource Development of Government of India. Residential schools, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, set up in each district of the country except in Tamil Nadu, has been doing very well in the CBSE examinations of secondary and higher secondary consistently every year since they were set up in 1986.

We can take a few managerial lessons from Navodaya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya, which are the most successful school system run by the Government. One of the factors for success of these two organizations is the autonomy in management of Schools. The officers, namely, Commissioner at the apex level, Deputy Commissioners at the Regional levels have complete independence and responsibility in management of the schools. At the Vidyalaya level, the Principals have been delegated powers to manage the school in the best possible manner. The teachers of these Vidyalayas work with full dedication to achieve the goals.

Now in respect of government schools, common refrain is interference from politicians in management of schools. How to create a system, where such interference is not allowed. One reason for success of grant-in-aid school is the financial and administrative power of the School Management Committee. The present School Management and Development Committee set up under SarvaSikshaAbhiyan has no financial powers. Can we think of giving financial power, especially, disbursement of salary to teachers as per attendance and performance to such Committee?

Can we make the teachers of government schools accountable to the local school management committee as ZEOs, Deputy Inspector and Assistant Inspectors of schools have failed to perform the works of supervision. The new system can be tsted in a few schools to begin with. If it is successful, we can replicate it.

(3) Cadre of Government School Teachers.

One of the reasons for failure of government schools is non-availability of adequate number of teachers in remote schools. Teachers, being powerful group, use all means to get posted at the school of their choice, preferably as close to home as possible. We hear that there many schools in cities like Imphal, where the number of teachers is more than the number of students. Such arrangement is at the cost of schools in rural areas.

In the hills, absenteeism of school teachers is learnt to be quite rampant. Substitute untrained local teachers are arranged by the regular teacher. This problem of absenteeism and lop-sided distribution can be taken care by having a school based cadre of teachers so that the question of transfer should not arise. While applying for recruitment, the candidate should be fully aware that he or she shall have to serve the entire career at that particular school in the event of recruitment.

If this is implemented the pressure on the politicians to transfer the teacher will be negligible, although other means like "utilization", "transfer with post", etc. could still be used. When I was Commissioner of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, we had similar problem in retaining teachers in the North East. Teachers from other States, who are posted in the North East will always try to get transfer to states closer to their home.

It is a natural tendency. I introduced a new system, wherein it was made clear at the advertisement stage that the teachers recruited through special recruitment for North East are required to serve in the Vidyalayas there for at least ten years. An agreement was signed right at the time of joining. We were able to achieve some stability of having teachers in the North East.

It is high time that the policy makers and academicians put their head together to address the weaknesses in government schools. Changes have to be brought about across the State. The role of local community in school management needs to be enhanced. Preference of local teachers in recruitment should be given. It is quite likely to get qualified local candidates for appointment as teachers.

Once appointed, he or she will not have any issues related to transport and movement, accommodation, etc. He, being a local person, will be always answerable to the local community for failure or success. If private sector can manage their schools, why not the state government do so. I believe it is not rocket science. What is required is introspection and rectification of the mistakes.

Views expressed here are personal.


* Oinam Nabakishore Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer may be contacted at oinamsingh(AT)gmail(DOT)com for any queries/comments
This article was posted on 19 June , 2018 .


* 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
  • Singda Dam, picnicking spot : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • NSU Manipur & Russian Univ signed MoU
  • Pesticides- Some of its harmful effects
  • Acid attack: A vicious assault
  • Condemnation on killing at Oting
  • Mon firing stokes demand for AFSPA scrap
  • From RIMS to Malom to now Mon
  • Book fair @ Manipur Univ #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Candlelight vigil at Delhi
  • Pony, polo & Om Shanti
  • Program on Gender Based Violence
  • Students interaction program with Scientists
  • Beauty in times of pollutions
  • Shocker from 'friends of northeast people'
  • Wanted: A strong Opposition
  • Drug Menace in Manipur #1
  • The first CM to visit the remotest village
  • Condemns Oting killings
  • Condemns killing of civilians in Nagaland
  • Choose wisely :: Poem
  • We must collectively defeat the new variant
  • Aim for quality service not AIIMS status
  • Beyond the flag & Constitution demand
  • Manipur independence & Merger Agreement
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Farmers training at IBSD, Imphal
  • The enemy of the mighty :: Poem
  • Scientific nursery raising of vegetable crops
  • Votes and economic forces
  • Ningol Chakkouba @Thanga #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Intl Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • Seminar : Bioeconomy from Bioresources
  • COVID-19 and antibiotic resistance
  • A passion for teaching science
  • Ticket allotment toughest challenge for BJP
  • UAPA arrests, AFSPA & improved law & order
  • Strategies to improve piggery sector
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Beauty lies within you :: Poem
  • Panti Neimei : Prayer for longevity
  • Manager @ KIIT TBI Bhubaneswar
  • Careers in IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Omicron the new avatar of coronavirus
  • Omicron variant scare amid aura of normalcy
  • Book fair @ Manipur Univ #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Why 680,000 AIDS deaths in 2020?
  • 'forward Ethnographic report on Meeitei'
  • Gust of wind :: Poem
  • Political leaders & their credibilities
  • World Heritage Sites in India
  • CM's barb on Imphal centric tribal MLAs
  • Inclusive Manipur: A cure for myriad maladies
  • Cosmos Festival @Maram #3: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • DM University: Place of Hopes or Nothing
  • Protest for ST list at Guwahati
  • Choosing the right candidates
  • Drone warfare
  • MU in limelight for wrong reason
  • Time to review development initiatives
  • Let's Make a Difference: Girl Up Khonjel
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • December Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Demands extension of Ishan Uday deadline
  • 'Name of Bailey Bridge at Tipaimukh wrong'
  • My lovely mother :: Poem
  • Election in March first week ?
  • Lesson to learn from JCILPS' drive
  • ILP System needs dedicated staff
  • Traditional Fishing Equipment : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Protest for ST list at Delhi
  • Pendraba Khunnaigi Meiri :: Play review
  • The days of yore :: Poem
  • Farmers suitable technique of composting
  • Threat from new variant
  • Landlocked NE needs better connectivity
  • Meetei Leikai @ Silchar #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Antimicrobial resistance is threatening health
  • The Unified Nation :: Poem
  • Manipur Polls 2022: All roads lead to BJP
  • Economic governance; need for Manipur
  • Celebrate festival with Covid protocol
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #5: Gallery
  • Constitution Day at Lilong
  • Constitution Day at Lamphel Court
  • Applicants : Manipur Entrepreneurs Society
  • Executive Committee posts for YMC
  • Transgenders : Struggling for identity
  • Anthelmintic resistance: Havoc to veterinary
  • Signing pacts hallmark policy to delay stir
  • Paddy land conservation
  • Jiribam Keithel [Sept 2021] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Time heals
  • Manipur women : Champions Sepak Takraw
  • TEDxYouth@RonaldsayRoad at Agartala
  • Tips to make nail paint last longer
  • Health Min data exposes Govt inefficiency
  • Leaving out Manipur from the loop?
  • RIMS, Lamphel, Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Activism Against Gender based Violence
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel
  • MPSC cleaning by LAC
  • Hope - the essence of life
  • Students Induction Programme at Lilong
  • Ending cash-for-vote trend a pipedream
  • Pluralistic Manipur & divergent forces
  • Remembering Guru Gourkishwor Sharma
  • Training on mushroom cultivation : Gallery
  • What if TB, HIV medicines stop working?
  • NPF Women Wing Co-ordination meeting
  • World Children's Day
  • Pure passion :: Poem
  • Emergence of NPP in region's politics
  • Taking NE on board
  • Trekking @ Mount Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Healthcare not handcuffs
  • Asymmetrical Federalism in North-East
  • Dr Konica Khuraijam- Best Educator-2021
  • Webinar : Relations betn India &SE Asia
  • Career as a Product Manager
  • Starting & ending with economic blockade!
  • ST : Renewed campaign & Govt's silence
  • Exposure visit to Kwatha by MTU
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Sustainable Development at Noney
  • Nine Hills One Valley : World premier
  • Rs 3,30,000/- as assistance to journalists
  • Taj by night!
  • Boost for local handloom & handicraft
  • Drug smuggling from/through Manipur
  • Ningol Chakouba Shopping #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 'AirOThon' for Manipur & Sikkim
  • Environment & antimicrobial resistance
  • A lone night traveller :: Poem
  • Central Govt finally bows to kisans
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Improving public transport will reduce pollution
  • Nutrition- Tool for resilience in COVID
  • Take a relook at NEET
  • Glorifying toothless ILP system in state
  • Lapses in ILPS: Complete let-down
  • Cultural Fest @Changangei #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Child Development Manager @ MaolKeki
  • Irujdn hEbi tEbi lMdM :: Seireng
  • The Killing Fields (2013-21) :: News Timeline
  • Is "to be like a girl" an insult?
  • Aloe vera for acne
  • Elections: Plentiful issues, solution minimal
  • Flawed education system & private tuition
  • National Press Day @DIPR : Gallery
  • Book review of Ikigai
  • Free Filmmaking Workshop at Guwahati
  • World Piles Day Colorectal Cancer
  • Diwali with a void
  • Heartache for loyal BJP ticket seekers
  • MPSC: Time for complete overhaul
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Delhi : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Erol Meerol Eigi Choirol
  • Ningol Chakouba organized at Delhi
  • The bare truth-the only truth :: Poem
  • Scientific freshwater prawn culture in NE
  • Equal footing for tribal population
  • Violence and conflict situation
  • Did Tribes Fight for Freedom of our Nation
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Consultation: Protection of Rivers, Leimatak
  • Dr Naorem Bidyasagar- Bal Sahitya Puraskar
  • World Diabetes Day 2021
  • Padma awards now are more peoples' award
  • Bloodshed amid peace in state narrative
  • NE & Delhi: Bridging policy disconnect
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Thanga : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Nupana Khutlingba Samajda 'Nupa'
  • Through Her Eyes : Peace Festival of NE
  • Webinar on US Medical Licensing Exam
  • GMOs, is it a Yes or No?
  • Sobbing in solitude
  • Lesson learnt from ABP News-Cvoter survey
  • Glasgow Climate Pact, a step forward?
  • Ningol Chakkouba: origin & significance
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Exhibition on Judicial Establishments
  • My namesake
  • Kidney patient must take fistula seriously
  • What to see & what to do at Kangla Fort
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Meetei tribe bears more tribal characters..
  • Scholarship payment for OBC & SC students
  • Do you know ? :: Poem
  • COVAXIN data published in The Lancet
  • Disturbing vaccine hesitancy trend
  • Chinese village in Arunachal Pradesh
  • Online Teaching in a Pandemic World
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • State Level Moot-Court Competition
  • Ecological task force in Manipur #2
  • Makeup Competition - Lumiere 2021
  • Essential winter skin care tips
  • Inadequacy of women in decision making
  • Election under the shadow of Covid
  • Ningol Chakouba Shopping #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Legal Services / Commendation Ceremony
  • Handloom & Handicraft of NE in Kolkata
  • Upcoming election: View on social auditing
  • Organic Farming
  • Task cut out for school, college
  • Rise of drug mafias: An impending challenge
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Itanagar : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Pune : Gallery
  • Ching-Tam Ningol Chakouba : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Fish Fair : Gallery
  • Kang Tournament @Pishum #2 : Gallery
  • Kwak Tanba @Sana Konung #3 : Gallery
  • Loktak & Imphal Valley Landscape: Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • ZMlgdr AEKoIn :: Seireng
  • Bor khoiramnaba @Hiyangthang #3 : Gallery
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #1 : Gallery
  • Abonmai: Shutdown- 4 Oct #3: Gallery
  • Bishwamitra Chongtham - Boxing: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • Manipur Olympians reception : Gallery
  • Mary Kom reception- Aug 20: Gallery
  • Hijam Gourashyam : Manipur Sahitya
  • Sushila Likmabam reception- Aug 18: Gallery
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #2 : Gallery
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #1 : Gallery
  • Mirabai felicitated truck drivers: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #3: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @ Kakching: Gallery
  • Shanglakpam Nilakanta: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • Sushila Pukhrambam :: Olympics : Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai : Tokyo Olympics 2020
  • Pukhrambam Sushila : Tokyo Olympics Dream
  • Sushila Likmabam: Olympics Dream: Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS