TODAY -

Order to open educational institute amid curfew draws flak
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, September 22 2023: Differential in the nature of the orders issued by the district administrations of Imphal East and Imphal West regarding functioning of educational institutes during curfew hours has raised concern over the safety of school students as well as movement of parents.

Since the government ordered resumption of normal educational activities a couple of months back, curfew orders issued by the district administrations of some often exempted educational institutes along with law enforcing agencies and essential services including media.

However, there are often confusion over the relaxation as district administrations of some districts exempt educational institutions and some do not.

In the most recent orders, Imphal East district included educational institutions in the relaxation list while on the other hand, Imphal West district did not cover such activities.

Given the cur rent situation in the state, curfew is imposed due to possibility of unrest and yet relaxing educational activities often put the parents in a dilemma whether to send their children to school and colleges or not as they are concerned about safety of their wards.

School authorities are also in a fix on whether to open school or not as the situation is volatile and anything could happen at any moment.

As a result, some schools were opened and some closed on Friday.

Nevertheless, those schools which were opened recorded very low attendance of students.

According to a father of a school student, allowing schools to function during curfew hours, especially when restrictions are imposed citing probable unrest seems illogical.

Many of school transport services do not want to take the risk of ferrying students amid volatile situation and as such they halt operation.

In such a situation, it is up to the parents to drop and pick up their children.

Ironically, parents are not covered in the relaxation list and they often face difficulties in travelling, especially when they return home after dropping or while coming to school to pick up their children, he pointed.

As emotion runs high among the already agitated public, there are instances of road block using piles of debris and even burning tyres on the road.

During such protest demonstration, travelling with their children for school activities is fraught with risk, which no parents want to take.

Often, parents weigh between the safety and education of their children, with maximum ultimately opting for the former.

The father further opined that imposing curfew without any visible initiative to control the situation and restore peace will not help in bringing any solution.

Instead, it will have severe impact on the social fabric, economy and future of the students, he said, while drawing attention of the government to take up necessary initiatives for early solution.

A lady teacher told The People's Chronicle that her school opened on Friday even though the curfew order issued by the district administration of Imphal West did not relax educational activities.

However, only around 30 students attended school.

At the same time, teachers are also members of Meira Paibi and local clubs, and they participate in the ongoing public movement till late night.

Despite their participation in the agitation, they had to attend school too, she said, adding that they faced difficulties in getting to school as there was no passenger service and school transport as well.

Similarly, a van service provider of St Joseph's Higher Secondary School reasoned that as parents trust them for safe conveyance of their children they do not want to betray such trust.

As a result, they are compelled to stop service during curfew hours even though district administration exempted schools from curfew.

As for Friday, the school authority declared holiday keeping in view of the volatile situation, he added.


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