Admitting that the infrastructure of government schools in the state was very poor, School Education and SCERT adviser KT Sukhalu suggested lifting Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act and the revenue generated could be used for development of health care facilities and education sector.
Addressing a “One day Consultative Meeting on School Education” here on Wednesday, Sukhalu said that though may not agree, he would be discussing with chief minister Neiphiu Rio to lift the NLTP Act. “We need good infrastructure for our schools. Unless we have proper infrastructure, what is the purpose of providing computers, smart TVs and digital equipment?” he asked, adding that things would just get misplaced.
Sukhalu remarked that the future of the society was in the hands of teachers and not politicians, adding that politicians would come and go but teachers would be the ones nurturing the future. “You are nurturing the future leaders that will look after your children,” he said.
He also lamented that the foundational literacy in the primary and the elementary level was very poor. This was one of the primary reasons why the performance/results in the secondary level was very saddening, Sukhalu said.
He admitted that managing Education Department was challenging as it had to ensure quality education across districts, sub-divisions and remote areas.
He urged officers to visit schools in their respective areas at least twice a month, while suggesting the directorate to set up a cell to monitor reports submitted by officials and analyse them to know where interventions were required for improving performance of government schools.
Expressing hope that government schools would give better results as recruitment of teachers would be done through Staff Selection Board (SSB), the adviser however expressed concern over the merit of the system since primary teachers were generally linguistic based.
He revealed that a proposal would be sent to the State government to conduct recruitment of primary teachers district-wise by District Selection Board so that each district could recruit local teachers.
On the issue of proxy teachers, he warned all officials and teachers to obey orders of the State government in this regard, adding that the government orders could not be disregard. In case one felt there was something wrong in a transfer order, he suggested that the person should write a letter to the directorate highlighting it.
Sukhalu also expressed disappointment over the lack of coordination between district coordinators under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan and DEOs, and between EBRC coordinators and SDEOs. He said he was also worried that data from EBRC, State coordinator, DEOs and SDEOs did not tally, stressing that the department needed concrete and real time data on student enrolment and number of teachers in every school. He urged all to share accurate information and coordinate with each other.
Vacancies: The advisor also mentioned that there were seven vacancies for the post of District Education officer and if the new districts area included, the vacancy will be more.
He also said that there were four vacancies for the post of joint directors, six dy. directors, three senior SDEOs, seven SDEOs, 131 vacancies for head masters and asst. headmasters.
On the recent demand by All Nagaland Graduate Teachers Forum seeking one-time measure to address the promotion stagnation of graduate teachers, Sukhalu said “promotions just do not come like that. May be as a teacher, which is a different matter, but for the post of HMs/AHMs the Annual Performance Assessment Report has to be up-to-date.”
Meanwhile, delivering the keynote address, commissioner & secretary School Education & SCERT, Kevileno Angami claimed such a consultation on school education was not held in the past, while acknowledging the adviser for his zeal to have consultation programmes with State, district and block-level officers.
She said the meet would allow the department to know problems and challenges, besides the good practices and success stories happening in all corners.
In his brief speech, principal director School Education Thavaseelan K acknowledged the shortage of man power in the districts. He, however, reminded officers to utilize available resources to achieve optimal learning outcomes.
Nagaland Education Project- Lighthouse (NECTAR) deputy director Avelu Ruho spoke on the activities of NECTAR project under World Bank. She also highlighted about the Performance Incentive Grants (PIG), which was announced recently for all government schools, funded by World Bank.
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan state mission director Temsunaro Aier urged officers to be receptive to changes in line with the New Education Policy 2020 which have brought about several changes in the education system. She also reminded officers about the importance of community participation in education and reminded them to coordinate with the community leaders.
The programme was chaired by school education director Wonthungo Tsopoe and invocation offered by HSS joint director Nuchisalu Nienu.
A business session and group discussion held in the second and third session of the programme.