Majority of youth in Nagaland not getting education, says Ravi
Requests officials to create a body that will look especially into primary education
Kohima, Oct. 7 (EMN): Governor of Nagaland and chief rector of Nagaland University, RN Ravi on Wednesday said that in Nagaland, ‘things are not exactly how it should be’, as 25% of the children who should be attending primary schools are not enrolled and 40% of students enrolled for primary school does not go to high school; put together, 65% of the youth who should be in high school are not getting education, and an individual who is not gone to school is ‘difficult to functionally be called literate’.
He was speaking as the special guest at the inaugural programme of a one-day national webinar on “National Education Policy (NEP 2020) – Strategic Roadmap for North East India” on October 7, jointly organised by the departments of Education and Teacher Education Nagaland University, Kohima campus in Meriema.
Ravi stated that in Nagaland,’ children are not enrolled in schools not because we lack physical infrastructure, as we have more number of schools than we should have because there are schools where teachers are more than the students’.
He also stated that we have to ensure 100% enrollment in primary education by 2030. He stated that NEP 2020 is ‘so transformative’.
“Today, the world is interconnected and the strength of a country is determined by the power of its knowledge. The future belongs to those powerful in terms of knowledge- theoretical and practical, and now the future that lies ahead of the country we have to shape it,” he shared, adding that ‘if we continue following what we have been following, it would not be adequate to our needs’.
He also stressed on how the most important thing for our country is its human resource and how to shape it. “This NEP 2020 is a historic document and it is futuristic to say the least,” he said.
The governor also expressed that it is natural that any change that is brought about in any system is bound to have some resistance but it has to be overcome and apprehensions have to be clarified, “and we have to move ahead as the spirit of the particular policy is to transform India”.
“Transforming India into a socially well-knit cohesive India and economically strong, which takes care of its own and also takes care of the needs of the world, and intellectually superpower, we have to be greater and radically new emphasis on building our human resource (sic),” he added.
Ravi further stressed that the emphasis of the present NEP is on creation of knowledge and building a ‘strong study skill base’.
He expressed that our present education system is ‘examination-oriented, rote learning’ where the students’ merit is determined by the certificates they hold.
“But there are large numbers of unemployed degree holders and they have passed examinations, memorised certain lessons, got the certificate but what worth he or she is to the family, society or the country and how productive they are,” he asked.
“The focus of this new policy is the creation of knowledge through research and innovation and building a strong skill base, which will begin right from childhood- preschool days and the emphasis is on the cognitive growth of the child even before the child comes to a primary school.
“So, cognitive growth of the child in the mother tongue is the core emphasis and then the emphasis is also ensuring that by 2030, 100% of our children go to school. This vocational training which gives skill to a person by which they become a useful productive member of the family, society and the country at large has to be recognised,” he said.
The governor also stated that vocational training has to be mainstreamed so that the person holding a vocational training certificate is looked upon as a respectable member of the society and becomes a productive member.
Nagaland is a state with rich human resources and natural resources, he said.
“Now, from a position where Nagaland has been performing very well, there has been steady decline on various indicators of human development in Nagaland. Now this unfortunate situation has to be revised and NEP 2020 is a very good beginning to make,” he stated.
He also requested the concerned officials to create a “small body” that will look especially into primary education ‘because that is where the foundation lies’. ‘A dedicated set of people should look into school education and come up with recommendations about how and what should be done to help us,’ he added.
T V Kattimani, vice chancellor of Central Tribal University, Andhra Pradesh, who was the guest of honour, said that ‘NEP speaks about our textbooks, our research, our classroom teaching, our training including various skills’.
“Our students are not limited to the students who are registered in university but students of the society who are out of reach of high school and universities; the educators and academicians should treat them as our students.
“To implement NEP 2020 is different from state to state because the languages are different, the ethos are different, agricultural patterns are different, crops are different and agricultural activities are different,” he stated.
“Certificate and training are not necessary to live in India; training, English is not necessary to lead an honourable life, but the only thing we need is skill. Cultural diversity of Nagaland should be identified by our educational institutions,” he added.