Give a damn to the future
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or the past week, under the “ Advocacy Tour” off the Eastern Naga Students Federation, Eastern Mirror has been highlighting the anomalies that exist in implementation of government schemes and most shocking of all the quality of education that children of the area are being exposed to.
The tales of stories of schools with no proper buildings, or toilets or schools without a Science and Maths subject teacher, no text books, shortage of teachers read like a nightmare.The chasm exposed in the basic development index (that of education facilities) is a blur on all of us. Yes, there is a government which must take the lead in ensuring that the beneficiaries under the various schemes reach the targeted beneficiaries. It is easy to put the blame on the government of the day for its failure to rectify and address the cancer eating away the core of Naga society.
But here, instead of political parties and governments who are easy targets to attribute the blame to for not addressing these serious anomalies coming to the for front … one would like to try and explore how we must learn to address and highlight these issues critical to the future survival of the Naga society .Naga society must rely on its sense of ‘community’ a unique social structure not prevalent (in equal degree) in other societies.
Much of the disintegration of the society it appears is linked to the politicisation of the ‘community’ the next unit after the family in the Naga society.
Despite the grand terms coined of ‘communitisation; of education’, and the creation of the ‘Village Development Boards’ why is it that such bodies have failed to take head on the issues on which the foundation of the Naga society will stand …that of Education.
We need and we must have quality teaching in all of our schools. Infrastructure and facilities are critical factors but above all of this the dedication of teachers is paramount. But if decade after decade we produce more drop outs than qualified students from our schools and colleges where are we going to find such people? The state already faces a serious shortage of teachers and Science and Maths teachers. Why is this this happening? Here, the responsibility of the government and the concerned education department cannot be overlooked .At the end of the day the population of Nagaland is a mere 19 lakhs. Surely it cannot be too complicated for the department to design and arrive at a blue print for the Education sector to be implemented for the next twenty five years. The Education department must know that primary education is the most fundamental and crucial entry point to open up a child’s mind to creative and imaginative ways. If the state fails to provide a good solid foundation at this level it is risking the future of the Nagas as a people, ready to emerge from the past and take their place in the world and immediate neighborhood.
Here, the role of an enlightened community cannot be overlooked.
It would be naive to state that villagers are unaware of their rights and the schemes that are available for them. Collective decisions for the community by the Village Development Boards need to be bereft of individual gains and petty politics.We have simply got to start thinking of ‘welfare’ as a term which means welfare for the entire community not for self or ‘party supporters’.
What is it that is compelling those who indulge in mismanagement of Mid Day Meal Schemes, siphoning off wages meant for MGNREGA, distribution of text books, providing sub standard materials for construction of roads,and bridges which exist only on paper ?
There is an adage that says ‘what goes round comes around’. God forbid such a thing from happening to the Nagas. If it did we would be left clutching at the last straws of sanity, going by the degree of negligence suffered by our children and people in the eastern districts of the state.
The time is here and now to change our collective attitude, if we care to walk into a future with “heads held high”.