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Senapati boost to education

Imphal, Oct. 13: Senapati is about to become the first district in Manipur where the administration will organise free residential coaching for students to give school education a boost.

Announcing this today, the second day of the second annual conference of Senapati District Students Association, at the mini stadium in Senapati town, deputy commissioner P.K. Jha said, “Free residential classes for three subjects — mathematics, science and English — will start at the sub-divisional and district headquarters.” He said the classes would start from January next year and would involve special teachers, who would be paid by the government.

The classes are being organised at the joint initiative of the office of the deputy commissioner and the district education office.

Jha was appointed deputy commissioner in June last year, before which he had served in the district as the assistant deputy commissioner. During his earlier stint, he studied the educational standard in the district and found that a majority of the students were weak in mathematics and science.

“Senapati district does not have sufficient number of engineers and no civil service officers. This is because they do not have much knowledge of science and mathematics. So the administration has decided to hold coaching classes so that the district has more engineers, doctors and IAS officers than other districts,” Jha said, while urging the students to keep away from drugs and set an agenda for the future. Senapati, a Naga-dominated district, is the nerve centre of all Naga activities in the state.

The second day of the four-day programme saw a large gathering of students. In the evening, a debate on Alternative Arrangement is the Legitimate Right of the Southern Nagas (Nagas in Manipur) was held. The conference is being held after 19 years.

Accusing the state government of being communal, Naga groups have been demanding an alternative administrative arrangement for Nagas in Manipur outside the purview of the Manipur government.

United Naga Council president L. Adani said the question of alternative arrangement for the Nagas was not debatable. The debate was being held for better understanding, consolidation and conviction about the demand. “It is our legitimate right,” he added.

L.R. John, president of Senapati District Students Association, urged both the Union and state governments to consider the demand for an alternative arrangement, cautioning that their struggle would continue until the demand was met.