Private schools and academic institutions are mushrooming in Manipur, both in the hills and valley. The costs of learning in these private institutions were high and are concentrated in the urban areas. Though there are Government schools in both urban and rural areas, private schools were a preferred choice. Parents, who could afford, send their wards to these private institutes, rather than government schools.
Most of the primary government schools are situated in rural and semi rural areas in Manipur. These schools were functional but it has only primary level standards/ classes. Moreover these rural primary schools have no concrete infrastructures and facilities. Reportedly in most cases either there are no teachers or if any, were on a contract basis.
It may also be mentioned that most of these government primary schools were shut down in conflict areas - interior villages in the hill areas, such as Churachandpur district. These are mostly during the early and mid 90s during the peak of insurgency and ethnic tensions. Once shut down these schools never bounce back. Furthermore these rural schools are mostly occupied by security forces in conflict and violence prone areas.
According to Guite these migration is due to the fact that their main occupation- Jhuming cultivation - is the unstable , besides the requirement of hard labour. Socio political conflicts are another reason, he said. Therefore there has been a continuous movement out of the villages into the city / towns, observed Guite. Earlier only those who are well off moved to the urban areas from rural villages , but today there is huge migration of people who are below poverty line, basically with a hope that they could earn some income in towns and cities. Some hoped for better education for their children while most of them just throng into the towns and urban areas for a living.
The Sangai Express
February 2, 2014