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Approx. 3,000 untrained teachers in Nagaland to be sacked

By Our Correspondent Updated: Nov 02, 2018 12:48 am
Menukhol John speaking during the Ansta’s 40th triennial general conference at Viswema in Kohima district.

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Nov 1 (EMN): About 3, 000 teachers in Nagaland who are untrained would be terminated from service by March 2019. This was disclosed by a high-ranking government officer during a recent teachers’ event in Kohima. The School Education department is one of the state’s biggest employers, consuming about 25% of the state’s budget in salary, principal secretary of the department of School Education Menukhol John, said.
The All Nagaland School Teachers Association (Ansta) had its 40th triennial general conference at the government higher secondary school at Viswema in Kohima district. The event is from November 1. The theme of the event is ‘professional renewal towards academic excellence.’
In the inaugural session, the minister for Public Works department, Tongpang Ozukum attended as the special guest; advisor for School Education KT Sukhalu, the guest speaker; and Menukhol John, the resource person.
In his address to the teachers, Menukhol John informed that around 3, 000 teachers in the state including private and government elementary teachers who are untrained shall be terminated from service by March 2019, in accordance with guidelines from the government of India.
The secretary said to focus on bringing change to the state’s education system stating that teachers these days need professional qualifications to be a teacher.
“We teach as teachers but are we teachable? We teach…. but are we bringing out generations that is usable and employable in the future days?” he questioned. He said that the School Education department was one of the state’s biggest employers, with the department alone consuming 25% of the state’s budget as salary.
The officer referred to data: Out of the 1, 013 government schools in Nagaland, more than 20,000 teachers are employed but only 41% of students study in government schools. The rest are looked after by private schools.
Where have we gone wrong, he questioned. In 2016, class 9 enrolment was 34.98%. It has now decreased to 2018 to 25%, and the ‘failure rate’ has been touching almost 40%, he said.
John mentioned that academic excellence can only happen when there is ‘professional renewal.’ The department is here to give the required exposure, he said. He appealed to the teachers not to interfere in administrative functioning during policy setting up and restructuring. ‘Let us give the department a chance to restructure, a time and chance to rise up again.’
In his address, Tongpang Ozukum said that the profession was noble. He told the teachers that they had bigger responsibilities ‘than any other profession.’ Teaching is considered the ‘mother of all professions’ and the teachers should take their profession seriously if they are to build a better and brighter society, he said.
The minster advised them to honour their profession as ‘teaching is not just a job but a profession,’ and it comes with tremendous professional responsibility. He hoped that the conference won’t be merely a gathering but a time for evaluation of performance, contribution, and achievement they have made in the profession.
The minister lamented that many of the educated youths or even who are employed as teachers in Nagaland consider teaching a last resort for employment.
“They will try for competitive exams, apply for gazette post and if they fail, they say ‘fine, even a teachers post will do as long as I get a job before I get over-aged,’” he said.
Stating that such an outlook was poor, he reminded the teachers: “If you become a teacher not by your conscious choice but because you have no alternatives left, you remain accountable to the thousands of students, their future and also to the society.”
Likewise, Sukhalu encouraged the teachers to be focused. In his address, he asked them to focus and be committed to their responsibilities.
“Teaching only in a classroom doesn’t mean that you are teachers. You have to teach them through your own lifestyle, so we shouldn’t lose our focus,” the advisor said. He urged them to leave an honourable legacy behind so that when they look back in their old age, they would see a developed Nagaland through their students, and see a prosperous future for the people and community that can come only through honest efforts.
Also, the president of the Ansta, Ponchulo Wanth said that the teachers in Nagaland need to work with rededication and renewed professional zeal. “We need to reclaim the past glory of the department and build up the image and prestige of the teachers before the society.”
Wanth said that the government schools may not produce toppers ‘in board examinations,’ but the teachers also need to ponder about the prospect getting “nil” results.
On the second day of the programme, the association will trek to Dzukuo valley. Razouseyi Vese, additional director for School Education, will be attending the valedictory function as guest speaker. New office bearers for the group will also be appointed on the second day.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Nov 02, 2018 12:48:07 am