A lesser known Ratankumar Memorial School located at Kwakeithel Heinou Khongnembi in Imphal West district dominated the top 25 ranking list in this year’s High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC Class-10) examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BOSEM).
The RM School secured 16 of the 25 top positions and all the top three positions of the HSLC examination 2023. Its student Yengkhom Pareihanba of Kwakeithel Heinoukhongnembi in Imphal East district secured first position; while Omega Chanu Wangkhem and Venus Laiphrakpam shared the second position; and Ophelia Chanu Ngangom, Sanchitra Thokchom and Silvia Mutum shared the third position.
Only a handful of private schools in Manipur had been securing the coveted top 25 positions for the past years, but in 2023 a school which was hardly unheard of has risen to the top to assert its presence in a new era of education, with its unique model learning approach.
On this note, founder of RM School, Khwairakpam Hilari, asserted that there were no secret ingredients to the remarkable success of the school. He stressed that the hard work and dedication of both the teaching and non-teaching staff enabled the school and its students to achieve the historic feat at BOSEM HSLCE 2023.
The school founder also exuded confidence that government schools in the state would also be able to achieve the same success story if they applied the same education model practiced by RM School.
“The concerned authorities in the education sector have to be headstrong to improve the education sector in the state; the planning and execution have to align if we want fruitful results,” he said.
Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, in an exclusive interview, Hilari further threw light on the fact that RM School had set up a unique teaching system to make sure all the students of the school enjoyed the special teaching-learning process.
RM School's Efforts to Root Out Coaching Culture Unnecessary
The RM school founder pointed out that the school had implemented two additional classes for class 10 students apart from the regular school classes to root out private coaching culture that is gaining popularity in Manipur.
“Schools are temples of learning but in Manipur that essence seems to be lost; students are burdened with coaching classes outside the schools and beyond the school hour which indirectly creates a congested study environment for the students,” the founder said.
Hilari said that the two additional classes for class-10 students were started in 2022 at the school premises in an effort to help students from economically poor family backgrounds and restore the true essence of schools in Manipur.
Stressing the need for equal quality education for all, he explained that reading classes and extra classes were added to help students with their studies. The classes are divided into G1, G2 and G3 classes in a bid to enhance the learning process for both the weaker and meritorious students, he further explained.
“The two additional classes would begin after the regular classes are over around 2:30 pm. The class will continue till 6 pm for those who did not opt for higher maths, while the other class for those who opted for it will continue till 7 pm,” he said.
Hilari also maintained that the extra classes helped in improving and strengthening the relationship between the teachers and the students.
“The students are provided meals during the extra classes by our non-teaching staff. This simple contribution defines the dedication of the whole school staff to ensure the students can focus on their studies,” he said.
The school founder further said that the school staff and parents also maintained a healthy relationship to create a study environment conducive for the students, both at home and in the school.
“No students at Ratankumar (RM) Memorial School are left behind in this regard. The teaching staff of the school make it a priority to make sure the academically poor students enjoy the learning process and that they understand the crux of their lessons,” he said.
According to Hilari, the Ratankumar Memorial School keeps track of its students and occasionally provides free admissions and coaching for deserving students.
“There are no provisions of fixed scholarship for meritorious or students from poor economic backgrounds but the school takes into account the potential of the students and assesses their current situation,” he explained.
He maintained that the hard work, sacrifice and dedication of the school staff, parents and students were the driving force behind RM’s recent historic achievement.
When asked, Hilari revealed that the education model at RM School was the brainchild of his spouse, RK Bhanisana and himself. RK Bhanisana also serves as the principal of RM School.
“Even if there was a secret ingredient, I would disclose it so that all the students in Manipur could reap the benefits of education,” he further said.
It may also be mentioned that Yengkhom Pareihanba, who topped the HSLC exam, credited his success to the dedicated faculty of his school and expressed gratitude to his teachers in an exclusive interview to the Imphal Free Press.. The other toppers also credited their success to their teachers.
Altogether, 88 students of RM School appeared in the HSLC examination 2023, which was conducted from March 16 to April 3, 2023. The school reported only one failure. A total of 37,870 students across the state appeared for the HSLC examination 2023.
Even as the strife-torn state is embroiled in large-scale unrest and amid reports of fresh violence, state Education Minister Th Basantakumar on June 15 announced the results of the BOSEM's High School Leaving Certificate Examination 2023 in the presence of department officials. best in the last 10 years with a pass percentage of 66.96 per cent and 81.69 per cent respectively.
This year, the BOSEM recorded an overall pass percentage of 82.82 per cent. In all, 24,777 students of the 37,870 total students, who appeared in the examination, were declared passed. Among 83 toppers in the merit list, 56 toppers were girl students. Of the 28,352 private school students, 24,777 cleared the examination.
No government schools ranked in top 25 positions this year though as many as 8,065 government school students appeared in the exam. Of the 8,065 government school students, 2,874 students secured first division, 2,366 others passed in second division and 161 in third division.
And though there was no government or government aided-school students in the top merit list, this year’s performance is their best in the last 10 years with a pass percentage of 66.96 per cent and 81.69 per cent respectively.
Thoubal and Kakching districts topped in district-wise passed percentage with 89.61 per cent.
According to official data, it may be mentioned that 29 students were expelled for impersonation and for use of unfair means and 32 students were kept in withheld this year.