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ASU: Revise, remodel state education strategy

By EMN Updated: Mar 16, 2014 1:30 am

DIMAPUR, March 15

The Angami Students Union (ASU) today made a representation to the Education Minister highlighting a need for lawmakers to be sensitized to the gaps in the implementation of the Right to Education Act in the state.
The students body outlined three major points which they want the government and the concerned department to initiate actions to secure a future for the youth and the Naga society.
The first is the Right to Education Act (RTE) 2009 that was introduced in Nagaland. The ASU states that while the Act benefited the students, alarming realities have also surfaced with the Act.
ASU has indicated certain unprecedented technical failures being confronted both by the students and the system itself. The non-detention policy until standard 8 under the act has been identified as the most crucial and inapplicable factor to the education system. It argued that if the government policy provided alternate measures for drop outs in the filtering process, the act would perhaps run smoothly. However, the situational predicament of RTE in Nagaland has exposed the demerits on RTE which needs rectification. The ASU makes it case by stating that in 2013, 35000 students appearing the ninth standard exams saw 15000 students failing and 20,000 who passed. This translate to 57 % successful and 43% failed candidates. The continuation of such a trend will see an average of 10,000 drop outs every year. The current education system itself has the alarming potential to produce 50,000 drop out in a period of 5 years. In the face of failure to impart or gain requisite fundamental knowledge at the primary level, the students cannot be expected to do a simple mathematical equation in standard 9 without the simplest knowledge of 0+1=1 or simple knowledge of what is a noun or a pronoun.
The ASU have raised concerns on the complacency and casual manner of both teachers and students. This coupled with a careless attitude, that regardless of their engagement no students can be detained, is taking a very heavy toll and ASU argues that if this goes unchecked the state will pay a very heavy price with far reaching ramifications.
They also said that comparative results between Government run and Private run institutions shows that the pass percentage or rather success of private undertakings fare much better than the Government undertaking institutions. The ASU pointed out that while private institutions only admit the best students and frame their admission criteria, the government schools accommodate every student.
In contrast the government undertaking institutions receive huge funds under RMSA and SSA schemes, yet, the private institutions still excel without these funds.
Ironically the ASU states that the more experienced teachers and best recruits through NPSC are in the Government institutions as opposed to private institutions which are operated by the community or the Churches in Nagaland. The students’ body, making a case for latter system says such community sponsored institutions deserves attention by the Government.
They say undeniable facts have been emerging that the less economically privileged students are unable to pursue their studies in private institutions due to economic factors. Even if they do pursue higher studies it comes at astronomical costs being borne by their parents in private and not government institutions.
Moreover the subjects being taught in the schools contain little or no history of Nagaland. Its social, economic, religious and political education do not make up the curriculum in the initial stages of the educational system. Instead students pore over bulky and strenuous facts on ancient and medieval Indian history. The syllabi the students’ body states needs to include Naga literature and history.
ASU demands
1. Non-detention policy under the RTE Act to be revoked.
2. RMSA and SSA funding should include community and Church managed and sponsored institutions.
3. Nagaland’s history particularly its social, religious, economy and political history must be a part of the curriculum in the initial stages between standard 1 to 8. The same must be done through reduction of the rather very bulky and strenuous studies.
They have expressed a desire that these matters be placed and discussed in the upcoming State Legislative Assembly and subsequently measures be initiated through which necessary rectifications can be made in the act by instituting an expert panel or committee.

By EMN Updated: Mar 16, 2014 1:30:37 am