TODAY -

Why minority schools always a soft target?

Ceety Khongsai *

A file picture of Nirmalabas School Imphal
A file picture of Nirmalabas School Imphal



History is a testimony to the fact that the Catholic Mission Schools in Manipur has had the distinction of being the largest providers of our present day administrators, politicians, academicians and civil society leaders, past and present, and irrefutably surpassed all other educational institutions in imparting 'quality education' to the budding minds and moulded the academic lives of hundreds and thousands of students.

The twelve-monthly serpentine queues of aspiring guardians in front of the Mission's School gates to get a copy of admission form and the accompanying joy of those family whose wards luckily succeeds in the new formula of 'draw of lots' school admissions subjectively enforced on these Mission Schools by some self-styled champions of education testifies the excellent academic performance of these schools. In a state like Manipur where government schools literally are dysfunctional and practically non-existent, the Mission Schools with a humane face voluntarily took up the onus responsibility of building a new Manipuri society.

It is an undeniable fact that the Mission Schools were and is still and will undoubtedly be always the vanguard of our educational institutions and stood tall among the galaxies of non-mission schools. If the past academic records of these Mission Schools were oblivious to reckon with by the new Manipuri generation, time will unfailingly show the worthiness of these Mission Schools and silenced all sycophants whenever results of BOSEM's HSLC Exams come out.

Substantiating this fact, for instance, a rickshaw puller or a cobbler in a miniature Imphal city will always dream and offered prayers for getting his daughter admitted in the Nirmalabas School while an influential politician in Manipur will not hesitate to flex all his political power to get a seat in St. Joseph's School for his son! If such is the degree of grading these Mission Schools, then, why is the off-and-on boycott or ban on these institutions? Flimsy, illogical and fictional reasons invented with sinister motives to justify this spiteful bans are insufficient to persuade the vigilant public mind because such a ban has long lasting negative impact on the academic career of future generations.

In an academic journey of a student time is priceless and nothing can compensate the lost of even a single day. In Manipur, however, in the name of bringing quality education, everyone becomes a teacher inasmuch as everybody can give lecture and dictate terms on quality education although one may have the least ideas of what quality education really is. It may be remember by one and all that education is the realm of teachers and, as such, drop-out students and minimally literate politicians should not pretend to become ideal teachers by making blind hit or giving guess lectures on education because such act of pretension is insulting the teaching community.

This cheap method of extracting one's own selfish motives through ban/boycott on schools hitherto exploited by education champions in reality victimize our children whereas the hapless parents are forced to fritters away tearfully with their hard earned money in paying ban holiday tuition fees as the existing ban culture has no provision to waive the off-days school fees. In a comical way, this senseless culture of bans and boycotts resorted to by innumerable organisations has become a boon for both the school management and school van drivers because even a month long or more days of ban would not deter the school authority from happily collecting tuition fees as if given to them as earned leave salary while the school van drivers jovially fatten their wallets collecting van fees of those off-steering days as if a manna from above! But the greatest losers are the students and the guardians.

The reason for the 'bomb gift' to the Mission Schools and the ban may or may not be right but sabotaging the peaceful academic environment of the students is unjustifiable, unacceptable and academically suicidal. Imposition of dictates after dictates, demands after demands and bans after bans to these Mission Schools by numerous organisations with malicious intention deride the fundamental rights and freedom of education envisage in the constitution of India.

And, it is discriminatory as well as against the secular principle of tolerance for the entire Christian community that out of the many schools functioning in the state only the Mission Schools are being targeted time and again while other schools are left free to decide their own admission norms, tuition fees etc. It is prudent to note the fact that ethnic heterogeneity and multi-religiosity is the chief characteristic of Manipuri society and a slightest mismanagement and miscalculation of this fragile composite nature of our society could aflame the fire of ethnic animosity and imperil our state.

If 'Our Father', the morning blessing prayer of these Mission Schools, is being construed as indoctrination to Christian faith, then, the 'Namaste Guruji' or 'Good Morning Guru' salutation as practised in non-mission schools can aptly be read as an outright onslaught on our indigenous culture or an attempt to anglicize and hinduize the native students towards alien culture.

Or, if 'Catechism', a moral lesson taught in the Mission Schools as optional subject is the reason of clamping these schools, it may be remember that many of our present day juvenile crimes can be attributed to poor moral lessons in the formative stage of learning, to be more specific, during high school days. If we think and accept the universal moral principle of 'Obey your parents' as sacrosanct to the moral development of our children, there's nothing wrong in teaching the same moral principle in Catechism. As parents we are at liberty to withdraw our wards if one thinks that the moral upbringing of the Catholic Mission Schools is against one's religious doctrine or practices rather than victimising the whole student community.

The question of 15 percent quota for the poor family proposed by ban enforcers simply lacks pragmatic ideas and suffers from universalistic principles in so far as its implementation in non-mission schools are left at the sole discretion of the school authority concern. Besides, reservation primarily emanates from the question of majority community and minority communities with an objective of protecting the minorities from the so-called majority community.

Thus, the Mission Schools being Christian minority institutions, the demand of reservation quota by the majority community will turn the principle into a mockery. Moreover, if one takes into account the myriad ethnic groups or organisations nestling in the state it will be impractical to embark upon such a dream because the impending tug-of-war amongst the various ethnic groups for maximum percentage will turn the matter into a major political issue. And, if tuition fee is the reason, it will be a gross mistake to make the Mission Schools a scapegoat because there are many non-mission schools charging more fees than the Mission Schools.

The time has come for the collective Manipuri mind to give a serious thought on the matter and act promptly if we truly are sincere about the future of our students. It is also the bounden duty of the vote maximizing politicians to enact a law to ensure full protection of all education providers from all anti-social elements now and forever.


* Ceety Khongsai wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on April 24, 2015.


* 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
  • 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