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Manipuri language teacher impasse: Amendment of Assam Venture Institutions Provincialisation Bill assured by Education Minister

SILCHAR, Oct 19: A delegation of Manipuri Xahitya Parishad, Assam, Cachar unit, led by its secretary, Dr M Santi Kumar Singha, along with BrajabashiSingha, Chandrabati Devi, Amujaima Singha, Biswajit Singha, Nilbabu Singha and Sabitri Devi met Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Education Minister, and submitted a memorandum to him today in Dispur, urging him for inclusion of two posts of Manipuri language teacher in five stage classes of high and high madrassa schools, one post of Manipuri language teacher in two stage classes of high schools and for appending one post of Manipuri language teacher onthe staff pattern of ME and MEmadrassa schools under the Assam Venture Education Institutions Provincializationsof Services Amendment Bill-2012. The memorandum also seeks precise definition of mixed medium as Bengali and Manipuri , Manipuri and Bengali medium with respect to Barak valley region in the said Act in lieu of Bodo and Assamese .
Dr Singha pointed out to the Education Minister that a large number of Manipuri population has been residing in Barak Valley region and it is observed that there has been a practice of opting Manipuri or Bengali or elective Manipuri or both by aManipuri student studying in the Bengali medium schools of Barak Valley. Moreover, in many high schools, posts of Manipuri language teachers have been sanctioned and provincialized by the Government of Assam. As an usual process, Manipuri language teachers were appointed by the school managing committees of different venture high schoolswith the due approval from the inspector of schools of Barak Valley.
But quite surprisingly, in the Assam Venture Education Provincialization Bill of 2012, the posts for Manipuri language teachers have been scrapped from both high school and ME school staff pattern and the definition of mixed medium has been given as Bodo and Assamese which has resulted in deprivation of all the Manipuri speaking students and the teachers of non- provincialized schools of Barak Valley of their right to education and teaching.
In this context, Dr Singha requested for in-depth review of the education system for right approach to the right to education to the education minister. Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said he was well aware of the fact, but regretted that the amendment could be held up but due to the late representation by the MSPA members. The Act has alreadybeen passed. He, however, assured of taking necessary steps for amendment of the bill in order to protect the interests of the Manipuri language teachers of Barak Valley region.
He took note of the memorandum and forwardedit to the Secretary, Secondary Education, for discussion with him. He advised the delegation to discuss the matter with the Secretary, M M Hussain. But to their utter surprise, the Secretary was not aware of the existence of Manipuri medium of instructions from the LP level to the University level. He noted down all the relevant details about the mixed medium schools, number of Manipuri language teachers district-wise .
The delegation insisted on sanction of Manipuri language teacher posts in ME and High schools during their discussion with the Deputy Secretary who assured them of convening a meeting with them soon in order to take the right decision before submitting detailed report to the minister of education, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma. Dr M Santi Kumar Singha is confident of positive and justified action by the government of Assam on all the issues raised regarding the Manipuri language teachers and the mixed medium schools. The delegation will also meet the Chief Minister of Assam. Dr M Santi Kumar Singha briefed their meeting with the Education Minister by email toThe Sentinel.

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