Nagaland: District trainers told to focus on nurturing young minds
Kohima, Aug. 30 (EMN): Commissioner and Secretary of School Education and State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Kevileno Angami, on Monday, told district trainers to nurture the young minds and assist them to understand, think critically,and analyse things rather than focus on rote learning.
She was addressing a three-day state-level capacity building workshop for district master trainers on early childhood care and education (ECCE) and foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) under NIPUN (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) Bharat Mission, Samagra Shiksha Nagaland, in collaboration with SCERT Nagaland, in Kohima, on Monday.
‘It is critical to give emphasis and nurture the growth of the brain in a child, given that 85% of brain development occurs before 6 years. Prior to National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the focus was not given to the FLN, especially in the government schools but now the importance is given to ECCE and FLN. In this aspect, teachers are the game changers for the state’, she said and called upon all stakeholders to work together to wholly achieve the aims and objectives of NEP 2020.
She said people start pointing fingers when exam results are declared.
“But without realising that unless learning, reading, and numeracy is strong at the base, it will be difficult to cope in later years,” she added.
State Mission Director, Samagra Shiksha, Nagaland, Temsunaro, told the participants to “understand that COVID pandemic has affected the learning progress for students. However, the pandemic was experienced throughout the world and we don’t have special reasons for the poor learning outcomes of our students. All of us must seriously reflect on improving learning outcomes”.
Citing the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 report, she pointed out Nagaland’s achievement as below the national average, which is a “matter of grave concern”.
Following the three days of training, the next phase of training at the block level will cover a target of 6716 teachers and head teachers from 1679 schools having pre-primary and primary classes. Training Learning Materials (TLMs) will be provided to about 38519 pre-primary children and 45213 students from classes 1-5 studying in government schools, she informed.
Director of SCERT, N Chumchanbeni Kikon, said the NEP 2020 accords the highest priority to achieving foundational literacy and numeracy among all children by 2025.
“Reading, writing and numeracy are always believed to be foundational skills; without being able to read, write well and do basic calculations, a child cannot progress in the education system and eventually may not progress in life,” Kikon said.
Citing Annual Status of Education (ASER) report 2018, she said that 72.8 % of children cannot read a simple class 2 – level text, while 71.9 % cannot do a basic subtraction problem in class 3.
“Class 3 is considered the inflexion point by which children are expected to learn to read so that they can read to learn after that,” she said.
“The FLN skills enable children to learn more meaningfully in higher classes and acquire 21st bud century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking. Those who fail to attain these basic literacy and numeracy skills find it difficult to catch up in later years and risk dropping out of school. The future of the children depends on whether they attain the foundational literacy and numeracy skills by class 3.
“The way forward to ensuring that every child, in Nagaland, achieves the desired learning competencies in speaking, reading and writing with comprehension, performing basic mathematical operations and learning basic life skills, by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27 is through the NIPUN Bharat mission Nagaland,” she said.
Similar training programmes will be conducted in the EBRCs for the teachers and head teachers. The training programme has been organised to bring about a convergence between stakeholders of education by involving participants from the Social Welfare department, department of School Education, DIET/SCERT and Samagra Shiksha. The training programme is meant for the district master trainers on FLN and ECCE to provide orientations on the use of the teacher’s handbook on FLN, TLMs developed by SCERT for the pre-primary students and primary/foundational students to achieve universal TLN for all children as per the NIPUN Bharat Mission objectives.