Views & Reviews
The Great Tamasha Department
Academic session of the students studying in Governments schools is never complete without disruptions by strikes call by SSA/RMSA/HINDI teachers and ANSTA. Only Nagaland Government Higher Secondary employee Association ( NGHSSEA) is yet to open its account which was nipped from the bud by the Government through the show cause notice served to all the NGHSSEA members personally (to be replied personally) even before the historic strike began. NGHSSEA first ever shot misfired miserably.
Education Department marred with water cannons, show cause notice, strikes by most respected teachers of different associations simply suggest that, all is not well in the education department. The entire imbroglio is the creation of our ignorant and selfish politicians who has turned the entire teachers and students community into a sacrificial lamb for their political gain over the years.
1. Constant SSA/RMSA/HINDI teachers agitation would have been avoided had the government of the day told them at the time of the appointment that their post are all co-terminus and keep them on a contract basis on a fixed pay instead of tricking the public into believing that the government is creating numerous jobs for the public. Government’s Nightmare will only begin when the centre government stops funding these flagship programmes. That will be a Doomsday.
2. Higher secondary section was introduced in schools without any additional infrastructure, adequate recruitment of PGTs, and without proper study of the local problems, feasibility and actual requirement and student enrollment thus creating innumerable hardships for both the students as well as the school authorities. Till date there are schools which are functioning without PGT in some department. Now who is responsible for the poor results. Unfortunately our politicians have become so immune to the suffering of the commoners that nothing effects them as long as they get their pound of flesh. While there are 4 higher secondary in kohima town, with some enrollment as low a 50 students in total why there is only 01 in Dimapur (Nagarjan) with total enrollment going up to more then 500 students and more denied due to lack of infrastructure and PGT’s .Why can’t the government upgrade Burma camp, purana bazaar and Diphuphar high schools into higher secondary for the sake of marginalized section of our society.
3. The recent demand of NGHSSEA for bifurcation seems to be justified looking at the way the department has been functioning functionless, The motivation for any employee be it government or a private sector to work harder and perform better are better pay and perk/privileges, timely increments, timely promotions, seniority list, etc. but when your profession becomes akin to walking in the minefiled, who survives? who’s next? Total uncertainty, Then definitely revolt is bound to Occur. I must say the NGHSSEA is as clueless as the department. It’s a sleeping giant not likely to wake up very soon. One definitely will want to know one’s seniority, timely incerements, promotions time zone and charter out the life plans accordingly. When the department fails you on all these fronts, What does it speaks about the government/department? The department seems to have bitten more than it can chew by introducing higher secondary section. It is the prerogative of the government to delegate DDO to any Officer but under which department has it been withdrawn from HOD. If withdrawal of DDO power from 23 GHSS principal was a cost cutting exercise(I don’t see how) why only education dept? Why not in PWD, PHE depts. etc where the Executive Engineers can be a DDO for the entire districts and DC becomes DDO for all other smaller department in the district. Remember the adage “ with power comes responsibilities” I doubt if the responsibilities will remain without power. The Department seems to be gravely concern about money than the actual issues confronting them. The capability, efficiency and administrative acumen of the department is highly questionable .
4. As per the media report the government plan to upgrade the existing 26 SDEO + 11 new SDEO + 11 assistant director all from secondary section to the rank of Deputy Director. By that logic the secondary second will have 48 deputy director rank officers in total with 37 of them as SDEO at the districts/subdivisions.
5. What one fail to understand is when the secondary cadres can become both SDEO and DEO, then why not vice versa for higher secondary cadres, this action of the government defies all logic and rationality, then why not the post of 11 DEO be reserved only for higher secondary cadres just as the way 48 SDEO is reserved only for the secondary section as Higher secondary matters are all related to DEO only.
6. The department doesn’t seem to be on a clear state of mind to say that 40% of JEO/AHM would be filled through examination from amongst senior GT’s and graduate PT’s and PGT’s with 5 yrs service. Please understand PGT’s are young ,fresh, and right out of the university , they are Class II gazetted officers qualified through NPSC.. and to pitch them against senior GT’s will be like sending Nepal in a full scale nuclear war against America..its HANDS DOWN WIN for the PGT’s. its total injustice for senior GT’s who have served the governments sincerely for so many years. And why add to the confusion by bringing in PGTs to secondary section? How many times will an employee of education department change their seniority in the course of their career?
7. The recent promotion table published in the media by the department deserves the biggest laughter. Please understand that secondary and higher secondary cadres have different entry level. While the GT’s enter their service as non-gazetted . The PGT are class II gazatted officers recruited through NPSC so one cannot equate the two cadres under any circumstances, they have two different entry level, they both deserves equal opportunities and growth in service without one intruding into the area of another. The qualifying years set for the employees at all level of promotions is gross injustice and discriminatory. It should be vacany plus seniority based. There are officers becoming ADC within 10 to 12 yrs of service and Executive engineers within 15 yrs of service. The time bound method of promotion at all levels is unheard of except in INDIAN ARMY. How can one set 29 yrs service for both secondary and higher secondary cadres as qualifying years to become the Director when the entry level of the two cadres and rank at the time of the entry are different. The department has not done its research properly. What the government has done is simply an invitation of more court cases to its door steps. It’s high time the department start thinking from its head rather them from its Bank balance. If both EAC and SA have to become Deputy Commissioner at the same time, why study so hard to become EAC, study lesser, party harder and become SA as DC post is assured at the same time as the one who start his career as an EAC.
8. There is an urgent requirement of cadre management in the education department to be implemented practically on ground not on paper only to be kept in cold storage. The government cannot keep on taking arbitrary decisions on service matters, The problems in the education departments definitely requires deeper and wider introspection and research vis-à-vis the central government guidelines and practice in other progressive states, short term measure like HPC reports are not an answer to departments like education which not only has one of the largest no of employees but have different cadres of employee so that justice is done to all primary, secondary and higher secondary cadres. At present the government seem to be functioning on the method of trails and error which is costing the career of many senior officers dearly. For instance , a certain person was serving as a Head master under one principal, within no time this HM became SDEO and later DEO while the principal remained stagnated at the rank of DDEO and started reporting to the officer who has served under him as HM. How does the department explain such promotion policy? Personally I feel the best solution will be to have two different director for secondary and higher secondary section with principal director as HOD. That way 99% of the problems the departments faces at this juncture gets resolved in itself as each cadre will follow their line of seniority and will be confined to their own zone till the director.
9. All said and done, the flip flop orders of the department and its inability to solve professional issues confronting it has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the debacle of the education department is much beyond the mental caliber and solution of the present officers of the department, let alone the politicians, the lesser said the better about them. Our politicians will not be able to decipher such complex issues.
10 Best solution would be to set up a committee headed by a very competent officer with reasonably good knowledge about the department, be given adequate time to dissect, analyze and study in depth all the cases, flaws and issues confronting the department today, the committee should also hear out the grievances and contentions of all the stake holders, understand the crux of the problem and bring out the most suitable recommendations to kill the issue once and for all. The present imbroglio of the department’s definitely merits a marathon brain storming session for a permanent solution as the problems has compounded over the years due to the inability of the government to dispense the right judgment. It cannot be solved by any bureaucrat within a short stint of their musical chair reshuffle. it will be an herculean task to salvage the education department from the gutter but somebody will have to bell the cat sooner or later.
K L Sema