Editorial

Sparing the rod

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/26/2021 2:06:17 PM IST

 According to statistics given by Shanavas C, Principal Director Department of School Education(DoSE), there are over 2000 government schools of which 1100 are primary, 600 middle and 293 high and higher secondary schools comprising a total of around 20,000 teachers and 1,40,000 students. The teacher to student ratio works out to 1:7 perhaps among the lowest in the country. Besides the huge amount being spent for the approximately 20,000 government teachers, the return has been poor. If the HSLC results from 2010 to 2020 are considered, it shows an abysmally performance by government high schools.In 2010, the number of government schools recording ‘Nil’ result was 11 and in 2011 it rose to 15. In 2012 a total of 17 government schools recorded ‘Nil’ result while in 2013 it rose to 26 and in 2014 it dipped slightly to 24. Again, in 2015 the number of government schools recording ‘Nil’ result was 37. And in 2016 it was 30. In 2017 the figure rose to 30 and dipped to 27 in 2018. The performance improved slightly in 2019 when 15 high schools recorded ‘Nil’ result but in 2020 it rose again to 30. These figures suggest a law of diminishing returns as a key factor. Data also indicated that from 2013–2020, the contribution of government schools towards the total number of qualifying students in the HSLC exams have been marginal – a mere 12.5%. Again, if the data of 2015 is taken, it shows that on average of about 29 schools recording 0 pass percentage every year. This means that students spend year after year in these government schools learning next to nothing. A history of exhibiting persistently low pass percentages over the years have subsequently diminished the appeal of government school, pushing parents to private schools. Not surprisingly, enrolment in private schools is about three times that of government schools as per the 2020 HSLC results. To put things in perspective, the Government deputes about one official for every seven students and yet, not a single student from government schools has made it to the top- 20 HSLC achievers. More often than not, teachers in government schools have been blamed for the abysmally poor performances. It may also be pointed out that government teachers earn almost triple the salary of private teachers besides enjoying perks and facilities that private teachers can only dream about. In 2018, the Adviser School Education had stated that the government has 2700 teachers under SSA scheme meant to complement quality education but instead of improving it was just the opposite. Even enrolment in government schools is witnessing a reverse flow. Private schools on the other hand, have been excelling in all HSLC and HSSLC examinations and leaving government schools way behind. Government teachers are more academically qualified than private teachers and so this has to reflect in the performances of the schools. However, comparisons between performances of government and private institutions will only lead to the conclusion that all that investment have not paid dividends. Creating a culture of monitoring and accountability at various levels of teachers so as to build a motivated and committed cadre by incentivising sincere effort are worth considering. However, in the end, all that is needed is a political will to crack the whip and straighten things out.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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