In order to promote and develop Ao language amongst youth so as to refine them in the language, 4th phase of the proficiency test in Ao language was conducted simultaneously here at Dimapur and Mokokchung with a total of 126 students at Dimapur Mission Higher Secondary School and Mayangnokcha Government Higher School, Mokokchung, on July 3. Initiated under Ao Senden Literature Board (ASLB), the proficiency test conducted for the fourth consecutive years saw 112 students from Mokokchung and 14 students from Dimapur which included those had already appeared in the last three tests. Sosangmeren, chairman of the Ao Senden Literature Board (ASLB) when asked whether the same kind of ‘proficiency test’ would be conducted in near future said the ASLB has not yet decided whether it would conduct next phase of the test, but added that those qualified in the test would be awarded diploma or master’s degree so that they could teach Ao language in schools or universities.He also said that questions were set differently for the candidates, with a maximum mark of 200 for this year whereas 400 marks were set at the last three stage tests.
It may be mentioned here that the Ao Senden Literature Board (ASLB) is a statutory body under Ao Senden, the apex body of Ao socio-cultural organization which was constituted in 2006.
The literature board keeping in view of its primary objectives has also set various objectives in order to regulate functioning of the board including promoting Ao language and literary education, usage of uniform spellings in Ao literature, publish text books in Ao subject (MIL) for schools, colleges and university level and also to pave ways to introduce the subject in educational institutions, conduct trainings and workshops, seminars from time to time, to work in consultation with concerned government departments and organizations for promotion of literature, formulate appropriate new syllabi in Ao subject/revise old course from time to time as directed by Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) and other concerned authorities. The objectives of the board also included to conduct research programmes on related matters from time to time and publish books and journals for the benefit of the people.
ASLB, as a statutory body under Ao Senden (Ao Hoho) also carries out its objectives as per the directives of Ao Senden (Hoho) on its policy and matters.
Meanwhile, lamenting on the Nagaland government’s failure to response to its earlier joint representation submitted on February 2 this year, chairmen of Ao, Sumi and Lotha literature boards have expressed dismay over ‘injustice’ meted out to them by stating that they have been ‘sidelined’.
Disclosing it to this reporter, Ao Senden Literature Board (ASLB) chairman, Sosangmeren, who was here in Dimapur for supervising the proficiency test in Ao language conducted here at Dimapur Mission Higher Secondary School (DMHSS) today, which was also conducted at Mokokchung the same day, said on behalf of the three tribes (Ao, Sumi and Lotha) signed by its respective chairmen has earlier submitted a representation to the state government seeking creation of MIL teachers which other tribes were enjoying but till date the response from the government were awaited.
“The government of Nagaland and the department concerned gives special emphasize on development of languages for the 16 tribes of the state but designated qualified language teachers for the three tribes have not yet been appointed by them,” said Sosangmeren while referring to the contents of the representation submitted earlier.
He also pointed out the NBSE has approved introduction of MIL in Class XI and XII for Ao, Sumi and Lotha from the last academic year (2004-05) however, was surprised to know that till this academic year, the Nagaland government could not provide language teachers even in the Government Higher Secondary Schools in the three districts.
Mentioning that the three signatories of the representation were happy that ‘Tenyidi’ has developed to the stature of a ‘Language’ upto post graduate and above levels both in the NEHU and NU, it also felt that they want to develop their own languages atleast upto degree level which might be followed by other tribes in future for many students belonging to the tribes wants to take up MIL in their own language after passing HSLC examination but were being deprived as the GHSS in the three districts could not start the subject for want of sanctioned posts of language teachers for Class XI and XII and as such progress were slow in development of language teachers for the three tribes.
He pointed out that government of Nagaland provided language teachers for English and Hindi in government schools upto higher secondary level for which the board chairmen felt that equal opportunities maybe given for other languages also.
The three chairmen has also requested Nagaland government to take necessary action for creation of language teachers in Higher Secondary Schools and Colleges at the earliest or three tribal Hohos would take the next initiative if the government neglects their demand.