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Editorial

Where are we headed ?

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By EMN Updated: Nov 16, 2013 12:45 am
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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n a couple of weeks that state of Nagaland will officially be 50 years old.
Going by any rule this is a record of sorts. The question uppermost in most minds of the public is the results we have to show this Golden Jubilee year.The political history of the state has been chequred to put it mildly and more so the
‘dialogues’ and reconciliation efforts. There are far more organizations and working in the field of building bonds and unity within Nagas then there ever was, and still more are being formed. What lies at the root of this mis-communication ? What a drastic change has come upon us. A people once regarded as noble to our neighbours and the rest of the country.
Whichever direction we turn we don’t see perfection but only contradictions and traces of destruction.
We lack an industrial sector maintain an under developed agriculture sector but a growing number educated unemployed. This dichotomy of our ‘development’ is growing into a monster. We are constantly producing educated youth but employment opportunities are limited and there is no balance between the supply of workers and the demand for their services. This is common knowledge, it has been so for a couple of decades. But the problem is none of the planners or leaders have spent sleepless nights over the issue and set out to take a really hard look at this and get down to business to solving it.
There is now a sense of powerlessness from within us a deep rooted sense of insecurity, social disintegration leaving the common man apprehensive of what’s to come.
A dismal review of the scenario afflicting Higher Education in the state was presented today and it is just short of a tragedy. Higher Education in Nagaland @ 50 by none less than a professor at the Department of Education, Nagaland University should be a wake up call to policy makers. The enrollment to Higher Education remains at a shocking 9.47%.
No country with a low GER of 10-15 percent has a hope of becoming an advanced country- economically or even politically. It is believed that a 30-40 percent GER in Higher Education is the critical threshold level for a country like India to reach the status of an advanced nation.
One of the first challenges the paper states is the disparity in the educational landscape. While 46 colleges offer the arts stream there are only 11 for science and a further 14 only for commerce. Science and technology are crucial areas to be promoted if the youth of this state have a hope of finding employment in the future.
To add to our woes there is the Central University which after 19 years of existence is still to ‘take off’. The state the professor remarks is still lagging far behind in providing professional technical education courses.
It is inexplicable how successive state governments have failed to do anything about the Central University and streamline its functioning. Higher education consolidates what is obtained in school education the professor stated. It provides knowledge and skills, it refines human behavior, it contributes to research and innovation, it improves the social, occupational and economic standing of the individual and the society .It is said that no nation can neglect Higher Education and hope to become an advanced nation.
The migration of students leaving the state in pursuit of higher studies and disciplines not available in the state is draining our economy and putting a lot of pressure on parents.
We have moved little from the Human Development Report tabled in 2004 which states that ‘the development process in Nagaland will be closely linked to the quality of workforce and technology linkages available in the State. Initiatives are underway to offer more technical training through the polytechnics and new institutes of technology. Research, documentation and dissemination of study findings, in various sectors,
are still limited. The strengthening of this area will help develop a culture of enquiry and understanding. Intellectual capacity building will help develop a new attitude towards learning, development of work ethics and gainful employment.
Education and Society: The type of education a society has reflects the needs and aspirations of the particular society and has a great bearing on its social order. This reciprocal relationship between education and the needs and aspirations of society provide focus and perspective to the people and they, in turn, shape society for harmonious and progressive living.’
Ten years on little has changed.
Are we heading towards a catastrophic blind spot in our quest for a political settlement to the Indo Naga equation? One that prepares ‘freedom’ for the people but fails to prepare the people for freedom.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 16, 2013 12:45:54 am