Manipur education officials tender apology over CBSE affiliation row
IMPHAL – Three senior officers from Manipur Education Department, who were suspended on January 12, have reportedly furnished written apologies for “irregularity in issuing no-objection certificates (NOCs)” to schools in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts seeking CBSE affiliation, officials said on Monday.
An Education Department official said that the officers cited “pressure” from elected representatives, civil society organisations and student bodies as the reason behind their unilateral actions without permission of the state government.
Sources said four MLAs from Churachandpur and two from Kangpokpi districts told these officers – two zonal education officers and a deputy inspector of schools, to issue the NOCs.
These MLAs are part of the 10 Kuki-Zo legislators demanding for a separate administration (equivalent to separate state) for the tribals since Manipur faced ethnic riots on May 3 last year.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) canceled the affiliation of 25 schools in these districts on December 20 last year as the state government had not provided the necessary NOCs.
The CBSE mandates that state board schools obtain NOCs from the state government before applying for central board affiliation.
The change in the education board from state to central in the two districts was perceived as an attempt to formalise a new arrangement amid ethnic strife.
The apology letters reveal that the officers were aware of the procedural violations but “felt compelled to succumb to external pressures due to the ongoing ethnic conflict”, disrupting government services and communication protocols, the sources added.
In one letter, Churachandpur ZEO Jangkhohao Haokip explained his predicament, stating that he initially resisted but eventually yielded under duress from various stakeholders. Similar sentiments were echoed by Kangpokpi ZEO Lhingtinneng Singsit and deputy inspector of school L. Taithul.
The Kuki-Zo civil society groups protested the suspension, alleging harassment by the government.