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Tribals vow to reopen classrooms in Manipur
Correspondent IMPHAL, OCT 24:
Published on 24 Oct. 2009 10:49 PM IST
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A public meeting called by All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) Saturday discussed deliberately on the matters arising out of prolonged closure of educational institutes in Manipur and decided to leave no stone unturned to return normal academic atmosphere in the state. Schools in four valley districts have been closed for the last one and half month since September 9. Three students’ bodies, AMSU, MSF and KSA called the indefinite class boycott stir in solidarity to the people’s agitations demanding resignation of chief minister, O Ibobi Singh. The prolonged closure of schools has become a matter of concern and some student bodies and civil organizations came up with the proposal of ending the stir and choosing other forms of agitations. “In the face of competing priority of wide variety of Human Rights in our conflict torn state, the principal of Rights for ATSUM is the ‘Right to Education’. We will leave no stone unturned to return normalcy of the academic atmosphere and restore the faith and confidence of the people in civil societies especially of the students unions,” the meeting of the ATSUM held in Imphal today resolved. After a long deliberation on the issue, the meeting also pressed both the agitating students’ bodies and government to hold talks and end the deadlock within October. ATSUM’s officials talking to the meeting clarified that the students’ body was not ‘communalized and politicalized’ to conven the meeting but it was a part of making education a “free zone” which the body like other students bodies are campaigning in the state. They also appealed the agitating bodies not to include exams in the boycott and allow students to appear in the exam so that their academic careers are not affected. “ATSUM is deeply pained and distressed by the July 23 BT Road incident. We condemn the highly barbarous act of the state police force that led to the lost of precious human lives”, ATSUM’s president, Thomas Taishya said while expressing condolence to the bereaved families. “The agitation launched to protest the July 23 incident under the banner of Apunba Lup and the two JACs formed in connection with the said incident is also justifiable in all respect. But, ATSUM feels that the present indefinite closure of all educational institution enforced by some student unions is uncalled for and is taking the issue beyond the limit,’ he said. Thomas further said “The students’ body resent these form of protest as it affect the normal academic functioning of educational institutions and makes tens of thousands of faultless students in danger of losing their academic calendar and even academic career by making them to stay idle all day, weeks and months.” The meeting also discussed on the position of teachers in private schools who have been without salary for months owing to the closure of schools. Speakers appealed parents and guardians to pay fees for their children even though schools were closed considering the teachers in the private schools. “We have appeal to the government to treat this impasses as a calamity and rightly compensate the helpless teachers,” one of the resolution stated assuring that even though parents and guardians are willing, ATSUM will seek donation from the public and pay them even a single rupee on humanitarian ground and recognizing their service for the students. The resolution drafted in the meeting will be brought up to the Federal Assembly which would meet within the next 10 days for approval.

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