Do not politicize education: Jamir

Panaji, Dec 11 (MExN): Governor of Goa SC Jamir said Nagas should not politicize education and risk the career of the young generation. Interacting with some Tangkhul elders here in Goa who called on him this morning in connection with the unfortunate wall-collapse at Baga beach last month which resulted in the death of two Tangkhul youths and serious injury of another, Jamir said it was extremely unfortunate that education in the hill districts of Manipur has been “politicized”.

“My heart goes out to the Naga students of Manipur who have had to leave the comforts of their homes and come to Nagaland to enroll in the schools,” he said and added that the parents now have to incur extra expenditure for their children.

“Why should the career of the students be jeopardized in any manner like this?” he questioned in a press note received here.

He pointed out that during the heights of unrest in Nagaland in the 1950s when the Naga people were dead-set against the Government of Assam, and when schools in Nagaland were burned and closed down, Nagas never burned text books but continued to pursue their education in Nowgaon, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Guwahati, Shillong etc.

“It was fortunate that the Naga people then did not mix politics with education,” he said. “We had our priorities straight and a generation of Nagas could be educated in Assam even though we fought against the Government.”

He also pointed out that most of the Indian freedom fighters themselves were educated in the UK even though they fought the British Government.

He recalled his long association with several Tangkhul leaders and was pleasantly surprised to learn that many of them are still alive and residing in either Ukhrul or Imphal. Most of them are now into the 80s or more.

He passed on Christmas cards to all of them and wished them good health.

Family members of the seriously injured Tangkhul Naga youth are here in Goa. They thanked His Excellency for visiting the Goa Medical College immediately after hearing of the accident and told him that the Doctors and staff of the Hospital paid special attention to the patient and also the dead bodies after learning that “they are the Governor’s people.”

Later in the afternoon, interacting with a 38-member group of students from St Joseph’s College, Jakhama who are currently here in Goa, Jamir reminded the youths that the whole issue of affiliation to NBSE by schools in Manipur has been “politicized” much to the disadvantage of the student community.

He lamented that while students in States like Goa are fully concentrating on their education and where they are excelling, Naga students back home are seeking admissions and changing their syllabi at the eleventh hour.

“I wish our people can differentiate political issues from social, educational, economic or cultural issues,” he said and urged the younger Naga generation to concentrate on their studies and leave political issues to elderly people.

“The 20th century has no room for mediocrity, only those who excel will survive in today’s world,” he said and exhorted the students to broaden their mindset and horizons.

He also exhorted the students to learn from people of Goa the concepts of environmental protection, civic sense and responsibilities.