School Education’s woes continue distressing streak
Dimapur, August 19 : Controversy continues to dog the education departments of Nagaland, particularly the School Education department. Contentious issues concerning appointments, deployment of teachers, and grievances about infrastructure of schools continue to be the focus of disgruntlement from the students’ community.
On Friday, statements highlighting various grievances from a number of students’ organizations in the state were received. The points of grievance included issues pertinent to the ongoing impasse between a section of college students and the government over the Nagaland State Entrance Examination (NSEE); deplorable school infrastructure in Longleng district, and lack of teachers in a government higher secondary school in Phek.
NSEE: No breakthroughs from govt-ENCSU meet
The impasse between the state’s education authorities and the Eastern Nagaland College Students’ Union (ENCSU) concerning the NSEE continues with no outcome from Friday’s meeting between the two sides.
The union issued a press release on August 19 stating reaffirmation of a previous representation to the chief minister of Nagaland.
The union cautioned the government and the department against conducting counseling for the 2016-2017 batch until the issue was resolved.
‘The union will decide a second-phase agitation based on the outcome of tomorrow’s cabinet meeting,’ the union stated in the press release.
The ENCSU advised the government and the ‘Technical department’ to “act sincerely and wisely on our representation” as was submitted to the chief minister through the principal-secretary-to-chief minister.
‘The union is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the chief secretary today at his conference hall where the government representative couldn’t response positively to our demands. The officials present in the meeting instead of solving the issue, again started to interpret the MCI rules (about) which we had enough of deliberation in the past meetings,’ the union stated.
‘We truly understand the rules of MCI but we would like to know as how can the department just implied two rules from different bodies in one exam? Since Nagaland conducts its own NSEE examinations as per direction of SC / MCI (sic) we are not to follow MCI rules but state rules. Hence, there’s no point of bringing MCI rules in state level exam.’
The ENCSU also stated that the NSEE examinations and the 15% reservation for the BT was “purely a state matter” and the case was referred to the Nagaland Cabinet ‘as per today’s meeting.’
“The ENCSU is hopeful of positive outcome and request the cabinet to act wisely so that the deprived people will get its due share without much delay,” the organization stated.
“If the department wants to manipulate the system by the MCI rules, the union would like to know who gave the authority to the department for 15% reservations and to set up Common Selection Board (CSB), which is unwritten even in MCI and state framed rules?”
The press release also expressed shock that the secretary and the director of the ‘Technical department’ had to “abstrain” (sic) from attending the meeting called by the chief secretary. They sent “lower official (sic) just to make them scapegoat (sic)” instead, the group alleged.
The union has appealed to the chief minister to convene a joint meeting with the organization “as the union is aware of misleading the top officials and the public by the department by misinterpreting the MCI rules in such a way, the department only sharing (sic) one sided story without responding to our queries.”
In order to clear the air of confusion about the MCI rules, the ENCSU asserted, the joint meeting “is a must.” The group will decide a second-phase agitation based on the outcome of the cabinet meeting, it added.
Tamlu’s ancient govt. school barely standing
The Phom Students’ Conference (PSC) has expressed “utmost sadness” that the department of School Education continues to offer “step-motherly treatment” to Tamlu, in Longleng district. Or, more precisely, apathy to the condition of Tamlu’s ancient school.
The Phom students issued a press release on Friday lamenting alleged negligence to matters concerning improvement of the government high school of Tamlu.
Because the authorities allegedly failed to address appeals for redress, the organization has now raised stakes on its demand—a ‘full-fledged construction’ of the school.
According to the press release, frequent appeals to the state government have fallen on deaf ears and the condition of said school has worsened.
“It may also be noted that the very school which had served as the centre that sparked off lots of pioneers in the past had been left abandoned and unattended till date. Since its establishment in the year 1973, the state government had left the infrastructural development at pitiable condition,” the Phom students stated in lament.
In the words of the organization:
“While conveying its utmost regrets, the union would also like to question the state government as well as the (department of School Education) as to why its plea and representation had never been attended. It may be noted that during the ‘wheel tour’ campaigned (sic) by the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) on 7th March 2014, the deplorable state of the high school was widely published in the media for immediate and prompt action by the state government. However, no attention had been emphases (sic) to it till date. “
The Phom Students’ Conference had placed several representations before the department of School Education demanding ‘improvement of the government school, Tamlu,’ they stated.
“It may be understood that the present minister for School Education had even declared assuring special emphases (sic) to be endorsed for improvement and development of the school. Besides, numerous positive assurances made to the PSC, the state of the government high school (of) Tamlu is still at worst and at deplorable condition,” the organization stated.
Also, the local group is “deeply shocked and dishearten (sic) as to why the government high school (of) Tamlu was not included in the priority list for re-strengthening (sic) in the recent tender call.”
Asserting to have examined the “plight and suffering” of the school’s students, the PSC said it was “left with no alternative but to foster on to demand for immediate and full pledge (sic) construction.”
“The department of School Education is requested to immediately attend to the plea of the PSC failing which the union might be left with no option but to fight for justice for the cause of education and students’ future,” the press release stated.
The Nagaland government as well as the department of School Education is requested to attend the plea “so as to avoid any confusion and misgiving.”
Phek students demand immediate deployment of higher secondary teachers
The Phek Town Chakhesang Students’ Union (PTCSU) has demanded immediate deployment of nine teachers for the government higher secondary school of Phek.
The organization issued a copy of a representation issued to the School Education department warning that failure to meet the demand would force the organization to launch agitations.
“…the government higher secondary school of Phek which have students enrolment producing one of the best academic results annually in the state have been facing an acute shortage of 7 graduate teachers in high school section and 2 post graduate teachers in secondary section who were deputed/promoted/transferred out of GHSS Phek ever since 2004,” the representation read.
“Thus, due to acute shortage of teachers, even office staff like typist, physical education teacher (PET) are made to teach along with their assigned duty, apart from sponsoring one private honorarium teacher (sic) by the school through monetary contribution of the students and teaching faculties.”
The students’ organization has asked the education authorities to take up the matter on priority and to “do the needful (without) further delay so as not to jeopardize the career of the students.”
However, the union added, in the event of “no response or indifference from your office,” the students would be compelled to “resort to democratic means…for the act of which we shall not be held responsible.”