Darkness on RTE brought to light
S Henlly Phom
MON, MARCH 15
The intensive assessment by Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) to gauge the lacunae in development in the backward areas of the four Eastern districts of Longleng, Mon, Tuensang and Kiphire, under its ‘Advocacy Tour’ reached Aboi area of Mon district on the 8th day of the exercise.
The past week of the Advocay Tour to several interior areas has seen the callous violation of the Right to Education (RTE) act. The future of thousands of students is at stake without any proper channel for the parents and students to address their grienvances.
No Science and Maths teacher
In another shocking instance during a visit to the Government High School, in Longching established in the year 1972, the Headmistress of the school rued that the school has been without a Science and Maths teacher for the last three years. This has meant that the school science and maths subjects are not being taught in the school. This despite the appointment of a teacher for the subjects in 2013. On enquiry they were informed that appointed teacher had turned down the post over another offer. But the school authorities were not informed of the development. It is alleged by the school authority and area students’ body that repeated appeals to the Director of Education to appoint a substitute teacher has not evoked any action.
The Aboi Government School also suffers a similar fate as the school in Longching. In a breach of the RTE Act the school faces a shortage of teachers. Here the students do not have any idea on the whereabouts of their building. The high school students are being accommodated at the hostel building whereas the higher secondary students use the new building meant for the high school students. The RTE mentions that the school should provide proper sanitation and meal but the school does not even have a toilet for the students. A few CGI sheets nailed to wooden post, without doors serve as the toilet for boys and girls.
Another violation of the RTE came to light from the students themselves who said they receive only a few new text books. This is because in this school textbooks are being recycled. Students are asked to return textbooks at the end of their term for students in the next academic session.
Considering there is only one higher secondary school in the Aboi area the school authority have been questioning why no building has been provided for the same. They also said that the school furniture have been contributed by the villagers and the staff. The classrooms too are not large enough to accommodate the numbers as many students the neighbouring villages enrol here as well.
It is more than apparent that the people in the Eastern Naga districts are unfamiliar with the various government schemes and how they are implemented. It not only in the education sector, but also in health services where people are being short-changed. The Community Health Centre (CHC) of Aboi functioning with one out of 5 doctors. Four reportedly have not turned up since their appointments in November 2013. Superintendent Medical Officer (SMO) who was appointed under the National Rural Health Mission
(NRHM) went missing after submitting his joining report. The area also does not have a single pharmacist.
Bridge only on paper
The disconnect with development indicators also stretches to surface communication. The much anticipated Osongsu Bridge and Alanglap Road which connects Aboi-Longleng where the latter has been approved by Government of India as a National highway has been abandoned since years back. Work on the Alanglap Bridge which started in 2010 has been neglected. But contrary to the claims of the work progress which states 50% of the work has been completed, a ground check revealed that the bridge is complete only on paper and not in reality. The ENSF office bearers have taken serious note of the issue and have assured that the same will be highlighted.
The ‘Advocacy Tour’ taken by ENSF has been relentlessly sighting the issues and negligence meted out against the backward areas; it has been found that RTE Act and the other developmental schemes laid down by the central government are being misused and misinterpreted.