Day 1 of schools re-opening after 60 days
Many hail but turn up tepid

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 05 2023: After remaining shut for nearly two months, school reopened in different parts of Manipur on Wednesday with thin attendance.

According to IANS report, a total of 4,521 schools for Classes 1 to 8 reopened on Wednesday, July 5 .

According to officials, only 20 per cent of students were in attendance on an average.

More than 50 other schools are still occupied by the Central security forces.

An Education Department official attributed the low attendance rate to violence-related issues, transportation and fear among parents and children.

Altogether 96 schools have remained closed as relief camps for the displaced people have been set up on the premises.

It is said that the Government will issue a separate order to reopen these 96 schools but preparation is on to conduct classes for the students of these schools.

Day 1 of schools re-opening after 60 days
Day 1 of schools re-opening after 60 days

Education (S) Director Laishram Nandakumar said that enrolment of students taking shelter at relief camps in Jiribam, Thoubal and Bishnupur in schools of their preference in nearby areas is completed.

He said that the department has started providing uniforms to students at relief camps.

The order to resume normal classes was issued on July 3 by the Director of Education (S) .

Chief Minister N Biren Singh uploaded several photos of class resumption on his Facebook page and expressed his happiness.

In the post, the Chief Minister wrote, "As we opened schools from (Class I to Class VIII) today, I'm happy to see our children back in school.

It's been a difficult phase for the people of Manipur but we can't let our children be deprived of their rightful education.

Seeking the cooperation of everyone in Manipur to maintain peace and let our children attend school without any disturbances' .

Private, Government and aided schools were reopened today following the Government's order but majority of the guardians and parents chose not to send their children to schools for the time being due to the situation in Manipur.

School vans of only the private schools in Imphal areas where the enrolment rate is high operated today.

It is reported that many who operate school van services had called up parents and guardians in advance that they would not be able to pick up their children today and assured them (the guardians and parents) that the van service will resume from tomorrow.

Many parents and guardians were also seen taking their children to school on their private vehicles.

The Sangai Express went on a field inspection at Tiny Tots' Unique School at Dewlahland and found the attendance rate to be extremely low.

Central security personnel were also found stationed in the school premises.

One person who came to drop his son said that classes can be resumed in Imphal now as there is no report of any violence lately.

Saying that it is the students who face the major brunt of the violence as schools were closed for about 2 years during the Covid induced lockdown period too, he added that closing the schools for a prolonged period would jeopardise the fate of future pillars.

He appealed to all concerned to not disturb the academic atmosphere of the students.

Though classes have resumed, several students however are unable to attend classes as their schools are still occupied by the Central security forces so the Government needs to relocate the security places, said a group of parents and teachers.

They also said that it is not conducive for the classes to resume with Central security personnel stationed in the premises.

Stationing of Central security forces in the school premises makes teachers, students and parents uneasy, they added.

Most students with whom PTI interacted were very happy to get back to school.

Class 1 student Linthoi said, "I am very happy.

Finally, after a two-month wait, I will be able to meet my friends and teachers.

Moreover, I will learn new things." She said the shutting down of schools had made her life extremely idle and boring.

Several students said the State Government should take steps to ensure that schools remain open for at least a few hours daily even if the situation is tense.

Bhabesh Sharma, father of a class 4 student, hoped that the situation remains normal for classes to continue.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Education is key and I sincerely hope that peace returns to the State," he said.

He, however, added that students' security remains his concern.

Laishram Ibochouba, parent of a class 5 boy, appreciated the Government's decision to resume classes.

"I hope the Government takes safety measures for students in case of any untoward incident," he said.

"I am not scared to send my kids to school because the institute lies in the heart of Imphal.

But it will be of great if the Government makes arrangements for the safety of the students," he said.

Headmistress of Wangkhei High School RK Ranjita Devi welcomed the Government's move to resume classes.

"With schools remaining closed since the first week of May, most of the students couldn't concentrate on their studies and their minds remained diverted," Devi said.

She said attendance on the first day in her school was just around 10 per cent.

"I am hopeful that it will increase in the days to come," she added.

"We cannot neglect the future of students.

This is the time they acquire new knowledge.

Therefore, we should try our level best to continue with regular classes," she said, adding that the school will take necessary steps for the security of students.

She said no student will be allowed to go home if any violent incident occurs when classes are going on.

"We will allow students to go home only when their parents come to pick them up," she added.

Devi said since there is a ban on the internet, online classes are also not possible.

"Due to the internet ban, online classes are not possible.

So in the interest of students, we will give assignments and homework during regular classes," she said.

According to a statement from the Government, displaced students would be allowed to get admission free of cost to nearby schools while prior permission of BoSEM/CoHSEM for Class IX to XII has been relaxed for violence affected students in changing schools (no fee shall be charged for updation of registration with BoSEM/CoHSEM in such cases) .

Out of 12,104 students staying at 336 relief camps, 8722 have been admitted to schools in their nearby areas free of cost.

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