Higher secondary exams begin in violence-hit Manipur

IANS Photo

Imphal, February 21 (IANS) Amid the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) Examinations began on Wednesday in 111 exam centres across the state.

The Council of Higher Secondary Education Manipur (COHSEM) is conducting the examination for Class XII, and 31,351 students, including 15,152 girls from 236 higher secondary schools, appeared for the exams. Last year, around 36,000 students sat for the examinations.

COHSEM Chairman Takhellambam Ojit Singh said that the exams are scheduled to end on March 23.

Of the total number of centres, 36 are in the ten hill districts, and 75 are in the six valley districts.

Singh appealed to the candidates to set aside the woes of the conflict and do their best in the examinations.

Owing to the substantial impact of the ethnic conflict, the council has cancelled three examination centres and moved their students to nearby safer sites, he said.

To ensure smooth conduct of the exam and curb unfair means, 70 flying squad teams have been arranged by the council, Singh said, adding that neutral persons, including flying squad members and invigilators, who are not members of the communities in conflict, have been deployed at the centres which come under the strife-hit zones.

Due to the ethnic crisis in Manipur, many students opted to appear from other states.

Earlier, a shutdown was called by some women groups on Wednesday to protest the arrest of six people in connection with the mob violence and looting of arms from the security forces in Imphal East district on February 13.

However, considering the examination and appeals by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and others, the strike was called off.

The Chief Minister and Education Minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh conveyed their best wishes to all the students appearing for the examinations.

The Chief Minister in his post on X said, “I extend my best wishes to all students appearing for the COHSEM exam. Your dedication and hard work will pave the way for a brighter future. Let's ensure a smooth conduct of exams by refraining from any actions that may disrupt the process.”