Manipur University seminar recommends Mayek introduction in classes I-III

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Apr 30 22:02:37 UTC 2005

 KanglaOnline Headlines    Source : The Imphal Free Press

 MU seminar recommends Mayek introduction in classes I-III

IMPHAL, Apr 29: The seminar held at Manipur University to examine the
feasibility of the implementation of the Meetei Mayek script, has
recommended the introduction of textbooks written in Meitei Mayek except
language subjects (English and Hindi) in classes I to III with effect from
the next academic session (2006-2007). The recommendations however came
with two conditions - the first being to train teachers by means of large
scale orientation training programmes from this year onwards. Secondly,
transcriptions or transliterated books should be made available in time
for the coming session.

The recommendations were made by the drafting committee on the basis of
the papers presented during the proceedings of the 2-day seminar to
examine the feasibility of introducing Manipuri script from classes I to V
simultaneously from 2006-2007 held at MU since yesterday. Prof N Joykumar
chaired the drafting committee which made the recommendation with W
Tomchou Singh, Prof Mangi Ningomba, Prof Ksh Bimola, Prof O Ibochouba,
Prof Devraj, Dr S Gyaneshwar, Prof P Madhubala and Prof N Pramodini as
members. Earlier, during the second academic session today, the majority
of those present supported the systematic and phase-wise introduction of
Meetei Mayek.

Stating that the fact findings of the seminar were very important as the
government is going to implement it, DESAM representative T Parijat,
expressed that the survival and revival of our script is essential for
protecting our identity and culture. On the apprehensions among the hill
people regarding the introduction of Meetei mayek, he said there is a
strong undercurrent of script politics in hill politics.

Highlighting that DESAM have no intention of hurting the sentiment of the
hill people, he strongly denounced recommendation for making Meetei Mayek
optional. He said that mass involvement is vital. Declaring that from 2006
all the newspapers in Bengali script should switch to Meetei Mayek, he
said that newspapers should also take initiatives to familiarise the
readers with meitei mayek. He further stated that government should set up
language cells. Finally he said that if the recommendations of this
seminar are not accepted, the agitation will be intensified.

Kunjabihari, secretary, Council of Higher Secondary Education, said that
Meetei Mayek should be introduced to students of class I and in doing so
Bengali script should be completely ignored. Many of those who presented
papers pointed the need to introduce Meetei Mayek at pre-nursery stage. An
SCERT representative said that if the books are introduced in Meetei Mayek
without prior exposure to Meetei Mayek, allegations from parents/guardians
that the right to education of their ward is violated, would not be wrong.

L Mahavir, joint director, directorate of education (S) said that there
should be a language policy and Meetei mayek should be introduced
gradually. Negligence of government and lack of dedication among the Mayek
activists in the past has lead to the present scenario. He confirmed that
there is no lack of trained teachers. He lamented that the people
including the government succumb to pressure easily.

Some of the presenters recommended the introduction of incentive
programmes to encourage Meetei Mayek education and pointed out that mass
willingness is crucial. AMSU representative Umesh said that AMSU support
the Mayek issue. He said the CMs statement that there is a case in court
regarding the mayek has created confusions. He also mentioned that there
is an undeniable confusion regarding the term Meetei script and Manipuri

In this regard Prof Bimola said that the wording in the 8th schedule
Manipuri language written in Bengali script should be amended as Manipuri
language written in Manipuri script. She said that since the need of the
hour is integration, the term should be Manipuri script and not Meetei

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