TODAY -

Through a Surrealistic Window

By Dr. Aribam Devadutta Sharma *

Though I am not an educationist nor one of the think-tanks of Manipur, I believe Education does not equate to literacy.

Though the idea encompasses the concept that the educated persons should have the privilege of securing a means of livelihood, the more important characteristic from the point of view of Nation-building is the fact that he or she should be able to think independently and all his creative abilities fully realized.

Thus, logically if one has reason enough to believe that Manipur will one day surge forth and break through from the present quagmire, it has to be through educational emancipation.

It does not mean having more people educated from outside Manipur; rather it means having our own Educational Institutes recover their dues in its importance and centrality in shaping the future of the State.

Here Education is not meant to qualify the characteristics which are attributed to one with a certificate. In fact, certificate or sitting for an Examination is not always necessary.

In some Western European Countries , one need not sit for the Examination to be educated till the level of Matriculation. They can just go for one of the vocational trainings available for earning their livelihood.

Some things stand out for understanding and introspection when one looks at the recent trends in the Matriculation Examination results.

The fact that only around one third of the students actually pass the Examination in recent years leaves one to wonder about the future of the rest. The question whether what would they do if , say 90% pass the Examination is altogether a different matter!

For the present, we should focus on the reason for this catastrophe. This is symptomatic of a much more insidious processes at play in the methods of teaching and modes of evaluation or the regulations and executions of the directives.

Even more relevant in partially explaining the present shame, one should not forget that these results reared its ugly heads in the aftermath of the underground's clean-up act in the Education, though the methods and integrity of which is beyond the scope here.

So how about those students who had already passed out before this era? Obviously they form the pillars of present -day Manipuri society. That partly can explain the floundering and irreparably corrupted society our future generations is bound to inherit.

Now the question is - which one came first, the chicken or the eggs?

One can't help wondering what and how the phenomenon of mass copying descended on the valley's psyche. Why would one opt for mere certificate?

We don't have to look far for the answer. Because certificate is what really mattered! Rest is through money, nepotism, favoritism and manipulation.

The days of Meritocracy was already drawing close to an end in Manipur. But why would it (the degeneration) grow so fast and abundantly?

Now , one can safely conclude that the soil must have been already fertile.

The Government was weakening, the insurgency was emerging and spreading its tentacles over-ground , employment rate was becoming saturated due to impotent policies and programs of successive irresponsible governments and their utter failure in generating other avenues of job opportunities ( due to their primal instinct for self-aggrandizement and unfitness for the job entrusted to them by the gullible lay public)


* * Dr. Aribam Devadutta Sharma, MBBS, MS, MCh, is a Gastrointestinal Surgeon at RIMS, Imphal and the first MCh–GI Surgeon of the North–East India. He contributes regularly to e-pao.net and can be contacted at d_aribam(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in . This article was webcasted on 11th April 2008 .

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