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Op-Ed

A Teacher’s Woes

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By EMN Updated: Jul 01, 2017 11:24 pm
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A very thought provoking article, ‘A Teacher’s Reply’ (Eastern Mirror, June 29 / Nagaland Post, June 30), by Mr. Wapang Longkumer has brought out the problems faced by the government teachers, especially those in the far-flung areas, very lucidly. It is a pity that teachers have to face such problems.

However, forget the well-meaning but failed Non-Detention Policy and move on; that phase is over. As rightly pointed out, all children do not have the same IQ, but that does not mean that some children cannot learn. Something is seriously amiss here; perhaps their primary education was a mess? Maybe many teachers were poorly qualified, or unqualified, or just truants. When the Governor stated that about 68% teachers do not attend to their duties, society definitely has a huge problem. Defending these teachers is to damn Nagaland to the dark ages.

The article ‘A Teacher’s Reply’ did not particularly refer to any former article or individual(s), but I had a feeling that it was a rejoinder to a recent article of mine ‘Truant Teachers’, which admittedly was very hard-hitting, but for valid reasons. But all teachers were not condemned; the article was not against the sincere, dedicated and qualified lot. In an earlier article ‘Government and Poor-Performance Schools’ published around 10/11th June 2017 in some of our dailies I had stated that ‘There are a few good and dedicated teachers also in those schools, but a good majority being rotten, the good deeds of these few individuals have drowned’. The article further stated that ‘It is time that non-productive teachers and employees are shown the door’. In a still earlier article ‘Literate Nagaland’ published on 2/3rd June 2017 something more of the rot of our society was given, while pointing out the fact that teachers are not paid salaries in time. Backdoor appointments are continuously in public domain, in fact almost every day. But the issue at hand was the truant teachers so those teachers appointed through the backdoor and insincere ones were the target. The efforts of those dedicated teachers are highly appreciated. I am sure I speak for everyone with a clear conscience that when the sincere teachers are not paid in time, it really pinches all. Every Teacher’s Day, Government Functionaries love drumming into our heads that ‘Teaching is the Noblest Profession’, while feigning ignorance that many teachers had not received salaries for many months.

The RTE Act requires a strong and caring government that can bring out the best of every student, who are our future assets. To make it meaningful we need numerous highly qualified teachers, particularly at the Primary level, both in the Government and Private schools. We also need qualified teachers at the Middle, High and Higher Secondary school levels. The Government appears to lack control over the private schools, where we have the largest force of the hardest working teachers. A Government that cares, can and should force the managements of the private institutions to upgrade the skills of their teachers by deputing them (will full salaries) in small batches to earn appropriate degrees, e.g., P.S.T.E., E.C.C.E., D.El.Ed., B.Ed., etc. The government should also ensure the upgradation of qualifications of its own teachers.

The ANCSU recently insisted that College and University teachers should be qualified for the job. The NSF too should insist that the school teachers, both government and private are qualified, or should be further trained to acquire the required qualifications. This is very important if we hope to build a well developed society.

Ensuring proper attendance of students in the far-flung areas throughout the year, and particularly during the start of the new session is indeed a daunting task. This requires a serious look into the matter by the Government. A well balanced Committee comprising senior school teachers and officers of the department should be able to provide appropriate remedial measures.

The lighter-note gibberish in support of backdoor appointees (4th para, 14th & following sentences) by Mr. Wapang Longkumer was indeed pathetic. The government is overstaffed in most departments, but education. The best societies have employed numerous teachers, who are also the best, which has paid rich dividends. When the products are the best, unemployment is the lowest. If the best minds, selected through proper channels, are brought into the government, we will have a vibrant society, unlike our sick state. At the moment we are bereft of ideas in bringing down our unemployment rate, because we have very little brains working for the system.

Prof. G.T. Thong
Nagaland University

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By EMN Updated: Jul 01, 2017 11:24:02 pm