Untrained teachers leading Nagaland to ruin
Kohima, May 10 (EMN): The ‘negative bearings’ of having employed ‘untrained teachers’ at government-run schools in Nagaland for several years continue to encumber the state’s school education department, according an officer from the department.
According to the additional director of State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Nagaland, Kezhalenuo Kesiezie, ‘despite our best efforts, we are still grappling with the high percentage of untrained teachers and its negative bearings on the quality of education for several years’.
She was speaking at the first ever all Nagaland teacher educators conference on the theme ‘changing perspectives and approaches in teacher education’ at SIEMAT conference hall, SCERT on May 10.
She also pointed out that there is a huge gap between teachers’ education and its impact on the quality of education in schools.
And although there are a number of training colleges and institutions in the state, she noted with regret that teacher education has been badly fragmented in the state as teacher education has been placed under so many departments and there is complete absence of coordination amongst them.
Therefore, having realised the importance of close-coordination-approach for teacher education – both pre-service and in-service – she said the SCERT has organised the first ever teacher educators conference so that the state could formulate an integrated approach for teacher education in Nagaland and address the common challenges to achieving quality education in schools.
Speaking at the inaugural programme, Toshi Wungtong, advisor to IPR, SCERT and Village Guard, stressed that education should be holistic and should encompass morality because ‘the world today is devoid of morality and ethics’.
Describing teaching profession as one that has a huge responsibility where the end products show the credibility of the teachers, Wungtong said they should always strive to give the ‘best and completeness: that is truthful, holistic and of depth’.
Observing that the world has become ‘robotic and mechanical’, he emphasised on the need to revolutionise the education system with a mind that should be ‘explorative, thought-processing, inquisitive and analytical’ to bring the best.
Stating that any society looks forward to the best character, Wungtong said the responsibility lies upon the teachers to produce quality individuals and leaders for a secure and sound society by moulding the education in such way that also encompasses morality as well.
Education, he said, should not only be a ‘teaching and learning’ but one that is holistic and urged the teachers to look beyond their profession as teachers and employees. “Your responsibility as teachers goes beyond the four walls of the classrooms,” said Wungtong and asked the teachers to contribute, build and mould the society.
Menukhol John, principal secretary of School Education and SCERT, observing the lack of trained teachers in the state, lamented that the ‘facilities’ available to train teachers were ‘quite insufficient to meet the needs of the ever-evolving changes in the education system’.
Though the state is considered as having a high percentage of literacy rate, John wondered about the ‘quality of the literacy rate’; whether the education system we have in the state is good enough to equip the students to compete with others.
He said these areas of concern need serious introspection by the teachers whom, he said, should be innovative and come out with the best ways to mould the children in the best possible ways.
Prof. MA Siddiqui, former chairperson of National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE), and one of the resource persons of the daylong programme, pointed out that teachers at all levels are important, and it is the responsibility of the teacher educators to train and mould the teachers.
“The responsibility of bringing any kind of change, particularly qualitative change in the education system, lies on the shoulders of teacher educators and then it percolates down to the teachers,” said Siddiqui.
Therefore, he asserted, shaping and transforming the teachers into skilful, willing, motivated and inspirational teachers is the responsibility of the teacher educators.
As teachers, Siddiqui said ‘we have a great deal of responsibility. We are into a very important profession and we have to realise how important is our role and responsibility towards our students.’