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2011 - Another Year of "Unfinished Business"


The year 2011 started in great earnest, anticipation and hope for the ad-hoc teachers serving under the school education department. This was so because these so called ad-hoc teachers had been waiting for their service regularization for the last many years and some developments in the school education department at the end of the year 2010 and the beginning of the year 2011 made them believe that the day of their service regularization could not be far away.
Some of these developments in the department which made the ad-hoc teachers believe so were:  
1)    Suitability Test was finally conducted for about 1700 ad-hoc teachers in the last week of September 2010 and first week of October 2010 for their service regularization. So, when the year 2011 began, these ad-hoc teachers really believed that they would be getting their service regularization order within the early months of the year itself.
2)    When the year 2011 began it had been more than one year since the SIT (Vigilance Commission) investigated into the Bogus Teachers Scam and came out with the list of the bogus teachers who entered into service by means of dubious and unfair route. Therefore, many thought the Nagaland government would clean up the image of the school education department in 2011 by terminating the services of these bogus teachers and make necessary changes resulting out of this.  
3)    The year 2011 also started with Mr. Imkonglemba Pongener (IAS) taking over as the new Commissioner and Secretary of the school education department. With the arrival of this IAS officer in the department, many people thought that all the mess that had been crippling the school education department for a long time would be cleaned up at least to a large extend.
4)    Also, in the month of January 2011, all the ad-hoc teachers who had completed three years or more of continuous service as on 30th November 2010 were asked to submit their original educational certificates and other relevant documents at the directorate office for scrutiny by the department. Therefore this batch of ad-hoc teachers also believed that their suitability test for service regularization would be just round the corner after the conduct of which their service would be regularized, at least before the end of the year 2011.         
These above-mentioned were some developments in the school education department at the end of the year 2010 and the beginning of the year 2011 that made many believe that the dark days of the department were soon to be over.
But now, we are already well into the month of December 2011. And it is really sad and painful to know that, even after the elapse of the whole 12 months of the year 2011, nothing seems to have changed in this big and most vital department of our government.
Now, one may want to know why I say that nothing seems to have changed in this department even as the year draws to an end. I say so because of the following reasons:
1)    Those 1700 ad-hoc teachers who underwent the suitability test in September-October 2010 and were waiting for their service regularization order at the beginning of the year in January 2011 are still waiting for the same at the end of the year in December 2011.
2)    In January 2011, the Nagaland government had still not terminated the services of those bogus teachers who were found to have entered into service by illegal means by the SIT (Vigilance Commission) in the summer of 2009. And even now (December 2011), the Nagaland government has still not mustered the courage to terminate the services of these bogus teachers thereby still making the school education department an unclean and infested department in the eyes of the public.
3)    When Mr. Imkonglemba Ao took over the reins of the school education department in January 2011, the people said that things would now change for the better. But now in December 2011, everybody can see that things have not changed much in the department despite some big slogans and promises being uttered during the course of the year 2011.
4)    The Nagaland government has also greatly disappointed those ad-hoc teachers who had completed three years or more of continuous service as on 30th November 2010 and had submitted their original certificates and documents at the school education directorate in the month of January 2011. This is so because the department has failed to conduct even the suitability test for this group of ad-hoc teachers this year even after collecting their certificates and documents as early as the month of January 2011. What is more, these original educational certificates and documents are still not returned to these teachers making them worry and ponder over the safety of their certificates / documents.   
Nagaland also, as always, celebrated Teachers’ Day on 5th September this year also and the colorful Hornbill festival has also just been successfully winded up. We also had numerous other celebrations during the course of the year and the DAN government also seems to have reached new milestones during the course of this year.
But for the ad-hoc teachers serving under the school education department, things have not changed much because, just like the other previous years, the year 2011 has also turned out to be just ‘Another Year of Unfinished Business’.
Therefore, this write-up is again a reminder to the Nagaland government and the concerned officials of the school education department that this pending issue of the service regularization of the ad-hoc teachers still continues to deprive thousands and thousands of sincere and genuine teachers the benefits and fruits of being in government service - thereby crippling the lives of many teachers and their families. I really wonder what the Nagaland government or the school education department is gaining by playing with the emotions, feelings, sentiments and lives of these teachers for such a long time. To put it in other words, this pending issue still remains a thorn in the flesh of the department which needs to be treated with top priority. It is my sincere hope and prayer that good sense and justice finally prevail in my beloved school education department.