TODAY -

Is Higher Education Department in Manipur a neglected entity?

Khelsoril Wanbe *

Director of Education (University and Higher Education) Building in Imphal
Director of Education (University and Higher Education) Building in Imphal :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



In view of the acute shortage of teachers, absence of regular principals and sluggish development of infrastructure, higher or college education in Manipur seems to have been relegated to a rather not so important status. We have been hearing for the past many years that all the colleges of Manipur are in dearth of teaching staffs; but no recruitment has been conducted since year 2006 when last recruitment of college lecturers was held.

Many old senior teachers have retired, but the vacancies that they left remain unfilled for a number of years now. For a long time, government colleges had been functioning without regularly appointed principals. And although development works have been happening in the colleges, it may not be an exaggeration to say that the infrastructural developments of colleges have been much less than what they deserve and what ought to be done.

Another regrettable feature of colleges in Manipur is that the majority of the lecturers are part-timers who are paid minimal salary. Some of these part timers have already fulfilled their RR, but their regularisation process has been indefinitely delayed. On the other hand, there are many qualified youth in Manipur, who remain either unemployed or employed in other states and cities. Academically, Manipuri youth are today doing excellently well.

Numerous MPhil and PhD scholars have been produced from Manipur University alone, let alone those many who have earned their qualifying degrees elsewhere. But the sad state of affairs is that these many academically qualified youth are being denied the opportunity to work at the many colleges in their own state, not because there are no post vacancies, but no recruitment has been conducted for the past so many years. The government needs to understand that shortage of teaching staff has badly affected efficient running of our colleges.

By developing and improving the infrastructure, and recruiting the required teachers, thousands of our youth can be prevented/dissuaded from running away for pursuing higher education to other states and cities where millions of rupees are dumped every year that could have been a huge chunk of government's revenue. All government departments need fresh new recruits for dynamic and vibrant function ing. Likewise, our dying colleges also need reinforcement through new recruitments at regular interval.

What is even more surprising is the fact that huge numbers of security personnel, doctors, engineers, primary and high school teachers and other departmental employees have been recruited to meet the required needs of the respective departments, but no recruitment of college teachers has taken place for so long now. This appears to be deliberate neglect and indifference on the part of the government, which tantamount to denial of rights and opportunities to the youth, who had diligently worked to earn their qualifying degrees.

It is true that the academically qualified youth can go and teach anywhere else in the country, but not recruiting their own state despite the existence of huge number of teaching posts on the pretext of facing financial constraint cannot be justified. In the case of health, security and other departments, regular recruitments have been conducted.

Health and law enforcement agencies are undeniably important. But higher education too is a department that plays extremely important role in the making and development of future leaders, administrators, academicians of the land. It needs to be understood that education does not end at high school. Knowing this, thousands of youth pursue higher education after they have passed out from the higher secondary level.

In the mean time, we are looking forward to the establishment of two universities- one central and another state. The first one is IGNTU which was formally inaugurated some years ago. I, myself, attended the grand inauguration ceremony; there was an air of great excitement at the bright future prospect, but the construction and development works of the university seem to have been dragging on at a very slow pace.

The second one concerns with the planned conversion of Dhanamanjuri College into a state university. It is yet to be seen, watched, and observed how long this metamorphosis is going to take. The need for higher education system to be vibrant and dynamic needs to be recognised by the administrators of this land. Higher education, a vital organ of human resource development, indeed, plays an essential role in bringing about progress and development of a state or a nation. It is the bounden responsibility of the government of the people to try to provide affordable and good quality college education to the youth of the state.

Education system should not be carried on in the interest of commercial and profit making alone. Genuine educationists and academicians will place primary focus on imparting quality education, not profit making. But quality education cannot be brought about without serious attention of the administrators of our land. Moreover, adequate and unbiased budget allocation for this vital department will go a long way in bringing about radical academic progress in the state.


* Khelsoril Wanbe wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on August 11, 2014.


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