NLTP Act should be lifted, says KT Sukhalu
Dimapur, June 22 (EMN): Drawing attention to the poor infrastructure of government schools, Advisor of School Education and National Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), KT Sukhalu has opined that the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act should be lifted and the revenue generated from the move be used in education and healthcare sectors.
He was speaking at the ‘Consultative Meeting on School Education’ organised by the School Education department at Niathu Resort in Chumoukedima, on Wednesday.
‘It may not sound very good, but I am thinking of discussing with the chief minister that the prohibition (NLTP) Act be lifted and the revenue that we get from it be used in education and healthcare,’ he stated, while admitting that school infrastructure is “very poor”.
Sukhalu stated that many types of equipment for smart classrooms had been provided but it could be rendered useless in the absence of proper infrastructure. What is the point of giving computers and other digital equipment which will just get misplaced? he asked.
Stating that he had received reports, though not official, of officers taking away equipment on retirement, he warned them not to resort to such practices.
He also said that the data provided about schools by sub-divisional education officers (SDEO) and educational block resource centre (EBRC) differ. Concrete real time data about student enrolment and number of teachers in each school is needed, he added.
“Unless we know the ground reality, it is very difficult for us policy makers, people sitting at the secretariat or directorate to actually give proper directions,” he said.
He also urged the SDEOs and DEOs to perform their duty well, even when they are about to retire, saying that many officers tend to get ‘laid back and start preparing for pension’ when they are on the verge of retirement.
Terming the officers as instruments of change for the society, he urged them not to neglect human resources, as it is only through them that they can be nurtured properly.
He further asserted that the ‘foundation of literacy is very important but the results in the secondary are very disheartening’.
Stressing on the need for special attention, he urged the SDEOs, DEOs, and ADEOs visit schools at least twice a month, while pointing out the lack of coordination between the district co-coordinators under Samagra and DEOs, and between the EBRC coordinators and SDEOs.
Abide by govt. transfer orders
The advisor of School Education also asked the officers to abide by government transfer orders, and that they could give their observation and information for the department to examine if they have any issues by writing to the directorate.
He said that many of the SDEOs and DEOs refuse to give their release orders.
“The future is in your hands and not the politicians because the politicians will come and go away but the teachers are the one nurturing the future, and the type of leaders that will look after the next generation,” he asserted.
“We talk about very high literacy rate in the society but see what the society is today; elections are so expensive, and the genuine person who have concern for the society and for the future of Nagaland are not able to voice in the political platform, and this is because people like us created this generation, and therefore there is a big responsibility in your hands,” he added.
Sukhalu also updated that there were vacancies for about seven DEOs, four joint directors, three senior SDOs, six deputy directors, seven SDOs, three ADEOs, and 131 headmasters and assistant headmasters, in the Education department.
He admitted that there had been many shortcuts in appointing teachers in the past, and that might be the reason for bad performance in the secondary level, but now with the NSSB, ‘the recruitments will not be a problem’.
Maintaining that primary school teachers are linguistic-based, he said that he would make a proposal to the government to conduct (recruitment) district-wise so that each district can have a local primary teacher, but there will be no direct appointments.
Assessing one’s contribution
Kevileno Angami, Commissioner and Secretary of School Education and SCERT, said that human resources could become a liability instead of an asset if it is not nurtured properly.
He said that teachers have to introspect and assess themselves about whether they are contributing enough on their part.
He went on to say that the Education department is facing various challenges but these challenges can be turned into opportunities within the limited resources and can bring about a little change in one’s own small corners.
Nagaland at bottom in enrolment
Avelu Ruho, Deputy Project Director of Nagaland Education Project – The Lighthouse (NECTAR), informed that at present, Nagaland is among the bottom five states in India in enrolment rate, retention rate as well as rate of transition from elementary to secondary level.
She updated that the state is close to the bottom on Niti Aayog’s School Education Quality Index (SEQI). On the World Bank projects and its activities, role and responsibilities, she said they aim at enhancing government schools across the state, and improve teaching practices and learning environments in selected schools.
“The project envisages education reforms across all its stakeholders whether it’s the DoSE, SCERT or NBSE. Projects like SAMAGRA and NECTAR are vehicles that enable the reforms that we need and want. Everyone of us have a role for the reforms to take root and impact education,” she said.
Principal Director of School Education, Thavaseelan K said that the DEO should monitor and manage the staff of the DEO office to make sure that the district objectives are achieved and fulfilled.
Stressing on the responsibilities of School Education, he said the DEO should report issues of schools to the directorate of School Education along with recommendations to address the same, and help schools in getting the required curricula, materials of curriculum and various documents required in planning and ensuring effective instruction delivery.
Temsunaro Aier, State Mission Director Samagra Shiksha, urged the officers to be receptive to changes which have been made in line with the New Education Policy 2020 that has brought about so many changes in the education system.
She reminded the officers about the importance of community participation in education and asked them to coordinate with the community leaders.