Kohima: As the nation came together to celebrate National Education Day on Thursday to commemorate the birth anniversary of independent India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, educationists in Nagaland took the opportunity to re-examine the education system in the state.
“Let us for a moment take a step back and examine the education scenario of the state. With the exception of a few, many educational institutions are not able to provide a well-balanced education,” Professor Buno Liegise from the Department of Education at Nagaland University told a gathering of educators and students during a commemoration ceremony.
The ceremony was organised by Nagaland Education Association (NEA) at the directorate of school education in Kohima.
The professor said the education system in Nagaland is relying heavily in favor of academic subjects by sidelining the development of values, healthy emotions, attitude, and social skills.
“The creative thinking potentials are not sufficiently tapped in the present system of education,” she said.
Prof. Liegise said education in Nagaland is suffering from “markism” (result-oriented system) and that there is a need to recognize the multi-dimensions of human personality and work towards development of an integrated harmonious personality.
As per Dr Zavise Rume, president NEA, Nagaland is in need of a strong and clear cut state policy on education. In this regard, he shared that the NEA has launched a policy research on the education system in Nagaland.
“The state government has been doing so well in the education sector. However, despite this success, there are many loopholes and challenges. Today, many teachers do not want to teach in schools. Many students do not want to come to school,” he said, raising a concern that school absenteeism is becoming a major challenge in Nagaland today.
He also highlighted that local teachers have started an illegal practice of engaging proxy teachers, within the full knowledge of the village and urban education committees, degrading the status of the teaching profession.
While the state government is also wasting huge resources, he said that students have also started to desert the government schools.
“Unless the illegal menace is wiped out, our system of education will be ruined. If we are really sincere, we can easily put this illegal practice to an end. We need a strong state law to deal with this menace,” he said.
Quality education: A pledge
Marking the occasion, educationists, students, officers working in the education sector, took a common pledge towards promote quality education in the state. In unison, the gathering pledged to “uphold the dignity and sanctity of education as the mother of all professions”.
Rume, as he addressed the gathering, said “We need quality education”. Bringing about quality education, according to him, cannot be expected without educationists being involved in the policy decision making process. He said that educationists must be given a fair chance to provide professional opinions in matters related to education.
Razousie, additional director of school education, urged the need to review the academic curriculum, saying that the system should be made in such a way that it is best suited for the society.
As he said that teachings of human values should be inculcated students who grows to run the society, the official also highlighted the need to mould children during the pre-elementary period.
The need to develop professionalism
“The state of Nagaland needs to develop professionalism in education,” Professor Liegise said.
She advised educators to be competent and have mastery of their subject matters and at the same time know how to communicate the knowledge and be able to articulate it.
As the educator said that one major weakness in the education workforce is the lack of dedication at work, she challenged them to be committed and carry forward the task assigned to them.
As the nation observes the education day, she urged all to re-commit in bringing about positive change by building a vibrant and robust education system in the state.
Meanwhile, Rume said that the education system in the state must find its basis and foundation in Naga indigenous and traditional ways of learning. To also sustain communitisation as a system of education in Nagaland, he suggested that a State Institute of Communitisation Education be created.
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