Just when the news in the state about the predicaments of the school education is on the rise recently, it was at least consoling that all was well in the higher education department. The shocker came about unannounced when on September 8, the All Nagaland College Students’ Union made a representation to the chief minister on the non-appointment of principals in as many as six colleges in Nagaland. Any institution without the presence of a head is in for numerous disadvantages that will ultimately affect the academics of that institution. The scenario is much worse if the institution is government run where strict hierarchy is followed and all the key positions are required to be filled to maintain order and the smooth functioning of the establishment.
Unlike before, when only 3-4 districts in the state had government run colleges, the ambitious plan of successive governments to have at least one government college in all the districts have resulted in fifteen government colleges across the state. This resulted in the sub-standard infrastructure in many of the colleges and in some cases the complete absence of any proper infrastructure as required by a college. There are also many colleges without proper campuses thus lacking the proper ambience needed for an educational institute. It is reason enough to discourage many professors to work in such places and there a have been cases where many even declined promotions to head such colleges. There were also reported cases where principals of colleges were found absent on many occasions in most of the colleges in the interior districts.
Starting a government run educational institution in the level of a college requires good planning with intensive inputs from the community of academicians as well as the general intelligentsia and strongly supported by the local community. All aspects have to be first studied before even coming to a decision to start one. However for the state it instead looks more like politics that prompted the decisions then later came the planning aspect or the lack of it.
The current absence of principals in nearly half of the colleges in the state may not just be mere coincidence but a sign of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed immediately by the concerned authorities. Else, it will be another big embarrassment for the leaders as well as the state in general.