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Academic year at stake as Manipur schools open
Published on 19 Jan. 2010 11:48 PM IST
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Schools in Manipur have opened after a four-month shutdown to major relief but also concern amongst teachers and students on how to complete the course and save the academic year before final exams in March. Class 8 student Montu Singh was happy to be back in school after a four-month break, but is utterly confused on how the syllabus will be completed and how to cope with the pressure. “There is tremendous pressure and I don’t know how to go about my studies as more than 40 percent of the course is yet to be taught in the classroom,” Montu told IANS with a hint of worry. Educational institutions in the northeastern state reopened Monday after being shut since Sep 9 with students on the brink of losing a vital academic session. The indefinite closure of all schools and colleges was called by the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to protest against the alleged extra judicial killing of a youth in July. Students apart, even teachers are at their wits end to complete the course and hold the final exams. “It is a real challenge for both teachers and students now with four crucial months lost due to the shutdown,” Anita Devi, a schoolteacher, said. “We have decided to hold classes even on Sundays and other holidays to make up the course.” The academic calendar in Manipur is from April to March. “A number of schools promoted primary and middle level students to the next class without holding the annual examinations,” said Basant Singh, a schoolteacher. “But the same could not be done for high school students and hence it is a challenge for the state to now make up the course in just say 45 days and hold exams and resume the next academic session.” Some schools that tried reopening classes in the middle of the strike in November faced the wrath of the protestors - at least a dozen such schools were set ablaze prompting the managements to close down once again. “At least it is good that classes have resumed although we know the students would be under pressure to complete their course in little time,” said Bhagirathi Singh, a mother of two school going children. The impasse was finally resolved after the chief minister announced a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killing.

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