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Nagaland School Education department in a mess, says Advisor

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Apr 01, 2021 12:28 am
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KT Sukhalu addressing teachers’ awardee seminar
KT Sukhalu addressing teachers’ awardee seminar in Kohima on Wednesday. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, March 31 (EMN):
Advisor for School Education, KT Sukhalu on Wednesday described the shortage of officers in the department as “worrisome”, saying that it would compel them to bring officers from higher secondary school or the administration to look after its management.

He was addressing the first seminar for ‘national and state teacher awardees’ at Directorate of School Education in Kohima.

“Many sub-divisional education officers (SDEOs) are not there and charges were given to senior SDEOs. There are also many schools that do not have headmasters (HM) and assistant headmasters (AHM),” he informed.

“There are certain posts meant for primary and graduate teachers. It is not known what was there in the past but many primary teachers, who at that point of time may be just a matriculate or class 12 pass, subsequently had graduated and were given graduate teachers (post) either through manipulation (sic). Because there are certain posts sanctioned for primary and graduate teachers,” he added.

Sukhalu further said that some of these primary teachers were regularised from the date they were appointed as graduate teachers.

“Now, there are three groups of graduate teachers. These groups of graduate teachers have gone to court and none of them were willing to listen to advice to understand each other and let the provision process go on,” he said.

200 HM posts lying vacant

The advisor went on to say that more than 200 HM posts were available but he could not promote anyone.

“At this rate, they would all retire if they are a part of the graduate teachers group. They would retire as graduate teachers and would never get HM, AHM. If this goes on, the department will not have sub-divisional education officers (SDEOs) or senior SDEOs,” he said.

He appealed to the teachers who were going to court to ‘come to an understanding of the issue better’ because some would ‘go further and some would not’.

If this goes on, he said, the department has already taken a decision for lateral entry at the level of AHM. Teachers who had served at least a maximum of 15 years or 10 years will be allowed to have an interview and would be inducted as AHM.

“Because we cannot wait for the court case to settle. So many will lose out but I cannot sacrifice the department because of the selfish reasons, because of no concern for the department or for the children they are responsible for,” Sukhalu said.

What has failed- education system or teachers?

The advisor said that teaching was a noble job but ‘teachers really don’t think that way’.

“They tend to take the profession as just a part of their livelihood and this mindset has to be changed. Change must come and it must come through work and action,” he added.

He called upon the awardees to share their views so that there will be improvement in the quality of education.

With development, many new changes and new things have come to the society, he said, and asked whether teachers were handling them in a proper manner or were crushed among the thorns, losing values.

“Every new faction- the Naga nationalist that comes, there is a rush to join various factions,” he said, adding that either the education system has failed the educated youths or teachers have not been able to motivate children.

“There are many educated people who lack wisdom and that is causing so much confusion, distrust, discontentment in our society,” he said.

He expressed disappointment at the prevalence of proxy teachers in the state. The enrolment of students in government schools is going down every year and dropout rate is very high, he said.

“It is the teachers in the field who have to take responsibility and will have to be the role model for students to look upon,” he added.

Bring back past glory

Director of School Education, Wonthungo Tsopoe said that the idea of having the awardees seminar was conceptualised in 2018 but was implemented this year.

‘We are living in a fast changing world where technology is invading people’s lives. Their thoughts and minds are focused on a fast way of lifestyle but on the other side, there are broken families and broken homes and we see a fragmented society,’ he said.

Young people are exposed to anti-social elements, Tsopoe stated, adding that the ‘only hope was to accept one’s responsibility with renewed minds’.

“Therefore, the awardees are expected to think outside of the box and bring innovative ideas and be a role model for other teachers and students,” he added.

The officer asked them to utilise their service to bring back the past glorious days of the government schools. ‘Don’t educate your children to be rich but educate them to be happy,’ he added.

Principal Director of School Education, Shanavas C urged the awardees to inspire others. Government schools in the state have a tough competition with its counterpart private schools, he said, adding that government schools have the best teachers but students choose private schools for quality education. This is because many teachers don’t show their commitment and dedication, he continued.

“As an awardee, you should lead an exemplary life for teachers and students,” he said.

Rtd. Director of School Education, V Meyase pointed out that this generation is ‘fortunate to get all the good things but also unfortunate to have many bad desires that lead us to destruction’.

He said that education needs to impart values such as civic sense, integrity, dignity of labour etc. “Estimate oneself as to how far one can go in this teaching profession,” he said and urged the awardees to make a clarion call to fellow teachers to generate fresh ideas that will lead to true respect of public properties.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Apr 01, 2021 12:28:04 am