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247 govt schools will be amalgamated: Manipur education minister

Manipur education department has taken up a major exercise to restructure and rationalize government schools by way of amalgamation.

A total of 247 schools – 176 schools in valley districts and 61 in hill districts – will be amalgamated to nearby schools which have better infrastructure, better connectivity, and better student enrolment, for overall improvement in the school education system, said state education minister Th Radheshyam. Addressing a news conference held the office of the Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BOSEM), he added that of the schools to be amalgamated, 192 are primary level, 41 upper primary level and four are high school level.

The process of amalgamation will start before the new academic session (2019-2020) after all the stakeholders are informed of this, he said. The education minister hoped that the proposed amalgamation will facilitate streamlining the functioning of these schools, and optimize resources.

“The exercise is carried out after exhaustive field surveys by concerned officers of the department keeping in mind the relevant provisions of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009,” he said.

Radheshyam said that prosperity of a society can only be achieved when quality education was given to the young generation who, he said, are pillars of the future. He added that education and health were the most important sectors and the BJP-led coalition government was laying emphasis on these. 

Radheshyam highlighted various measures being initiated by the state education department to lessen problems faced by students during examinations, through timely conduct of the examinations, setting question papers, proper evaluation of papers and declaration of results. Certain workshops on these are also being conducted.

He then added that steps have been taken up to exclude teachers who give private tuitions from the panel list of question setters and question moderators.

For the panel of examiners, BOSEM is making efforts to create a panel of competent examiners.

While claiming that government schools are now gradually gaining the trust of people, Radheshyam said that the number of students enrolled in government run schools was increasing progressively.  The Minister also announced that the government will strengthen government higher secondary schools, and it has decided to conduct a recruitment drive for 688 lecturers of 22 different subjects (including 42 posts of lecturers for nine tribal dialects) on contract basis for teaching students of classes XI and XII.

The step has been initiated to meet the shortage of teachers and infrastructure felt after the upgrade to higher secondary schools.

Talking about the government’s “Lairik Tamhalasi – No Child Left Behind” scheme, he said that it was being launched in the state from the current academic session with a view to make secondary and higher secondary stages of education free in government and government aided schools.

Under this scheme, out-of-school children in the age group of 15 – 18 years are identified and admitted in formal schools, he claimed.

Officials of different units of the Education Department, education commissioner H Deleep Singh, education(s) director Thokchom Kirankumar were among others who attended the press conference.

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