IMPHAL: A day long academic discourse on “Covid-19 and Education: Diagnosis and Prognosis” was held at MIMS Manipur University on Sunday as a part of observance of 13th Disturbance Free Educational Zone Demand Day 2020 and recommend the State Government to initiate necessary measures and formulate SOP for re-opening of the educational institutions in the state, which had remained closed for almost four months due to COVID-19 outbreak.
With RK Nimai, retired IAS as moderator, the academic discourse was organized by Co-ordinating Committee on Disturbance Free Educational Zone Demand comprising of MGHSLWA, CASA, AMSGO, AMCTA, AMESTA, AMSSTA, AMRPSW, ATSUM, AIMS and DESAM.
Four recommendations were adopted during the public discussion.
It recommended that state Government should re-open the educational institutions, for which necessary measures and Standard Operating Procedures should be framed at the earliest. Government should consult with stakeholders.
The second recommendation to the Government was on setting up of institutes where students can pursue entrepreneurship and skill development courses. Government should make arrangement to ensure that the students who had recently returned from different states due to COVID-19 pandemic can pursue their further studies in the state. Also Government should chalk out a plan for the returnees to ensure that they can work in the state, the meeting resolved.
Another recommendation stated that taking into consideration the Curriculum Objective and outcomes, Government should introduce a post COVID-19 and during COVID-19 curriculum at the earliest. Choice based credit system in higher education should be introduced immediately and examination system in the education sector of the state should be reformed.
RK Nimai, retired IAS officer, said that the students of the state will be lagging behind others unless it prepares for a good education system during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the closure of the educational institutes, Government permitted online classes to provide education to the students. However, such online classes are not possible in the areas with poor internet connectivity, he said.
He observed that educational institutes and markets could have been opened, citing that there is no community spread of COVID-19 in the state and the infected persons are predominantly returnees.
Longjam Robin, Secretary Education and Academic Affairs, DESAM stressed on the need for dispensing timely responses to the challenges and issues that the society is facing for survival and development in today’s age of information technology. The challenges to a society should be fought with education as a tool. The system of education being imparted to the society is the parameter which decides the development and decline of a society, he said.
The present generation of Manipuris can successfully meet the challenges in society with a good education system, for which quality education is needed to be imparted and education sector should be free from all sorts of disturbances, he added.