Demand for a separate time zone for Northeast Credit: Representational image

Aizawl: Mizoram’s apex student body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) on Thursday demanded separate time zone for Northeast to save daylight.

Speaking to EastMojo, MZP president L Ramdinliana Renthlei said that separate time zone for Northeast was a long-standing demand as it would increase daylight savings and efficiency.

He argued that the sun rises and sets in the Northeast earlier by an hour than in other parts of the country and several daylight hours are wasted as government offices and schools open only at 9:30 or 10 am and close at 4 or 5 pm.

He said that the Northeastern states be allowed to advance their clocks by some time (1 hour) to save daylight hours.

Renthlei is of the opinion that a change in time will allow the citizens to make use of added daylight hours and also increase their working hours in a day, which will in turn give a fillip to the economic activity in the region.

Meanwhile, the MZP also demanded the state government not to change but use the existing school timing introduced by the previous Congress ministry in 2015, according to which school starts at 8 am and ends at 2 pm.

Renthlei said that the students’ body leaders on Thursday called on state education minister Lalchhandama Ralte following media report that the state government is mulling to change the existing school timing and re-introduce the old timing as per which school begins at 9:30 am and ends at 4 pm.

“We told the minister that MZP is strongly against the old school timing (9:30 am to 4 pm) as it is wastage of daylight hours and that students do not have enough time to engage in study,” he said, adding the minister promised them that he will look into the matter and take necessary action accordingly.

Renthlei claimed that the academic record of students has improved considerably after the implementation of the existing school timing.

During the meeting, the students’ body also placed several demands before the minister, which included creation of separate school education directorate for elementary and secondary level, introduction of state education service, revision of Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation(CCE), introduction of uniform admission fee to be applied all private schools, allocation of more funds in the state budget for improvement of education and recruitment of new teachers to solve insufficiency across the state.

The minister paid importance to the MZP’s demands and promised that he will look into the matter to ensure that the demands are fulfilled, Renthlei said.

Opinions are divided between two student bodies — MZP and Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) — over school timing. While MZP is in favour of the existing timing, MSU argued that the old timing (9:30 am to 4 pm) be introduced again as the existing timing has greatly affected the daily routine of the people and general health of the students.

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