Nagaland educators

Kohima: Joining the nation in celebrating the Teacher’s day during a state-level celebration of the day in Kohima, KT Sukhalu, adviser to the Department of School Education (DoSE) praised the teaching fraternity in Nagaland for their hard work, especially amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We live in a democracy where the will of the people decides the policy of the nation. You, as teachers, are already influencing the debates and decisions that will take place 20-50 years from now. You, as teachers, will decide if our state will rise or fall. Your role is by no means insignificant,” Sukhalu told the teachers.

As education is ever-changing and evolving—in the subject matter and the method of teaching, he said that the teacher must be up to date to teach the students. Advocating for an inclusive education system, he highlighted that child with disabilities who were deprived of education almost a decade ago now have access to education in the state.

“Let us, as teachers, embrace such change because an inclusive education system will create an inclusive society,” he said. With the coming of more changes in the education system through the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Sukhalu urged the need to embrace the changes to reform and improve the education system.

The department also announced a cash amount of Rs 20,000 each to five needy teachers, which will be handed to the teachers through the District Education Officers. 

He said primary education must provide a strong grasp of the basics so that the students do not struggle in the higher classes. “We must focus on conceptual learning and competencies based assessment from now on. Teachers should nurture the potential of every student. The ability of each child should be considered to provide meaningful education,” he said.

Teachers must help build the characters of students

The adviser urged teachers to help in the character building of students as teachers have the potential to mould young minds. Even as he expressed contentment about the good marks secured by the students in Class 10 and 12 examinations, he questioned if this is just an outcome of memorization by the students.

Sukhalu, who is also a retired IAS officer, pointed out that many students who are good in academics are unable to compete with others in civil service examinations both at the central and state level.

While admitting that there could be “something wrong” or “some anomalies” in the “selection system” of the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC), he questioned why many of the “well-qualified students” were not making it through.

Saying that only teaching does not make a person and that learning also happens outside of the classrooms, he said that the behaviours of the teachers both inside the classroom and outside will influence the students.

The close-knitted nature of the Naga society, according to him, sometimes makes it difficult to ensure justice as compromises are made. In this regard, he said that Nagas cannot be confined and it is about time for the state of Nagaland to move ahead.  

Improve teaching quality:

Sukhalu also encouraged teachers to make use of capacity building programmes to upgrade their skills. “If we want a better future for our children and grandchildren, we must start by improving our teachers,” he said.

The politician advised the heads of the institutions and the teachers to have better coordination and carry forward the guidelines prescribed by DoSE, Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) and the SCERT to achieve better outcomes.

As he encouraged the teachers to introspect on their roles as educators in the society, he questioned them saying “With the weight of the future in your hands, are you living up to the responsibility you have undertaken when you chose to become teachers”.

Increasing responsibility of teachers:

Kevileno Angami, the Special Secretary of the department, in an introductory note challenged the teacher’s to ensure that there is no loss of learning among the students, particularly with the changing responsibility of teaching amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

She highlighted how the responsibility of the teachers has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the teachers to adapt to the new teaching system without training. The officer lauded the teachers for embracing the change, sensitizing the parents on the changes and at the same time keeping up with the activities of the department.

34 teachers receive state award for teachers 2020-21:

 A total of 34 teachers from both private and government schools received the State Award for teachers for the year 2020 and 2021. The awardees received a medal each along with a cash prize of Rs 15,000 and citation.

For the 2021 batch, 21 teachers were awarded while 13 were awarded for the State Award for teachers 2020 which took place at the same ceremony on Sunday at the Morung hall at the Directorate. 

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