TODAY -

Education sector no more the priority
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: July 23, 2021 -



CONSIDERING the huge Covid-19 caseload, continuous detection of large number of fresh cases and high positivity rate in the state, it is obvious that the government wouldn't be worrying about the education sector anymore as the immediate objective would be towards containing the pandemic at the soonest possible.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in early 2020, many sectors have been affected and education is one of them.

Despite slight reprieve from the distressful situation, from around November-December last till the onset of the virulent second wave in March this year when schools and colleges resumed classes staggeringly, no sane person would believe in the possibility of resumption of the conventional mode of teaching and learning process, at-least for a few more months or the situation sees dramatic improvement, if any.

With the state on a record-breaking spree halfway into the year's academic session, it could be safely stated that the adverse impact on the education sector would be most intense this year.

Contrary to many states gradually reopening manufacturing and service sectors after encouraging dip in daily infections and active caseload, and planning to reopen educational institutions, there has been neither any tangible improvement in the pandemic situation nor are the containment measures, including the on-going total curfew able to stop the spread of the viral disease in Manipur.

Apart from the average monthly positivity rate reaching 15.36 per cent on Wednesday from 15.12 per cent the previous day, the state's active caseload of 10,347 is second only to Assam among the states in the northeast region, thereby testifying aggravation of the pandemic situation.

For the record, as of Tuesday evening, 50 beds were vacant in government hospitals, 46 in private hospitals, 10 in LF School run by the MSF and 164 in different district hospitals and CHCs.

These figures imply that in case of another record spike in the coming days, the healthcare system would be overwhelmed.

Under such a dire situation, the immediate concerns of the government authorities would obviously be on how to keep things under control to ensure that the health crisis does not bring more suffering to the people and nothing else.

However, the government needs to acknowledge genuine proposals made by student organisations like All Manipur Students' Union and Students' Union of Kangleipak for initiating necessary measures for increasing the student-intake capacity in government higher secondary schools and for the private school authorities to uphold academic career of students, who dropped out due to Covid-19.

In view of en-masse promotion of Class X students this year, it is but natural that the number of students seeking admission in higher secondary schools would in excess of the previous year.

While wealthier parents would be exploring all means possible to find seats for their kids in reputed institutions in as well as outside the state, for majority of the students government higher secondary schools would be the only option left, thus validating AMSU's suggestion to plan beforehand on accommodating maximum number of students.

Moreover, as recommended by SUK, no efforts should be spared to address plight of those students who couldn't access online classes due to various reasons, financial problems of the parents in particular.



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