Ghukha Chophy, B.A. 4th Semester (Political Science Hons.)
“Educate, Agitate, Organize”
~ Dr.B.R. Ambedkar
Nagaland has a literacy rate of 80.11%, being 83.29% for males and 76.69% for females as per Census 2011. According to Census 2001, the literacy rate in the state was 66.59%. So, a change of 13.52% is registered. This only proves that the state has grown by leaps and bounds in the education sector.
However, as I believe, statistics never reveals the correct picture of reality. The ground situation of education system in Nagaland is alarming. Some of the ground realities of the Nagaland education system can easily be identified when we come across situations when we see how students lacks necessary confidence to speak up inside the classroom, also, culture of ‘critical thinking’ and ‘intellectual liberty’ do not generally exists in the education institutions and also it has been seen that both teachers and the parents seems to be unwilling to motivate the students in Naga society.
Moreover, enough steps are not being taken by the schools and colleges to improve the linguistic abilities of the students and this is how they lack language skills and vocabulary affecting their confidence and personality in the long run. On the ‘Home’ front there is no free flow of communication between parents/family members and the children. Often children have been made the victims of ‘expectations’ of parents. The independent voice of students got ‘drowned ‘somewhere in the emotional outburst of expectations of parents and teachers.
At an age when the students should be given opportunities to explore their interest and creative side, they are made to limit their abilities by making them stick with set academic curriculum to slog day and night to get good marks instead of making them understand various academic concepts so that they can use them at different stages in their life. The focus is on blind learning of the topics irrespective of conceptual understanding.
Mostly parents doubt their children’s abilities and thus this impacts children’s life and they lose their interest in education. Whenever there is parent-teacher meeting the parents fails to give interest to attend such meeting failing to understand that it is held for the good cause of the students. As we compare the facts and realities of education system in Nagaland with mainland Indian education system we find considerable gap in the teaching system as well as methodology.
Moreover, I have also observed serious issues with the Naga student community as well. The students outside Nagaland use technology as a means to understand better and also pay much attention inside the class. It has also been found that the outside students are far more mature, independent, demanding, articulative and serious about their academics than our own. Here students are more concerned about their ‘material comfort’, ‘childish tantrums’, ‘pleasures’ and ‘happiness’.‘Unproductive habits’ which are detrimental to the physical, emotional, psychological and intellectual growth of students have been well based in ‘academic culture’ of Nagaland which in fact a painful reality that has thrown Naga students in highly disadvantageous position in today’s world of cut-throat competition.
Government institutions have been failing miserably to ‘educate’ the people. However as an antidote to this situation, number of private education institutions has come up. Private institutions charge more fees and has often been accused of providing fewer facilities. However, I want all of us to introspect as to whether we students have really shown any inclination to learn to utilize the available facilities in our respective colleges? Questions are endless.
The responsibility of having ‘pathetic’ education system must be shouldered collectively by all the stakeholders including students. We the students can no longer play a ‘victim card’. Our education system must be transformed to make a way for creative, critical and independent thinking. Institutions must focus on activities that challenges the students mind, hone their analytical skills and invoke their creative thinking ability. This will help them perform better in different fields as they grow up. A platform must be given to the students to challenge their imagination to increase their grasping Power. There is no point in focusing on ‘Theoretical’ aspects of education.
At this juncture I am compelled to raise certain questions as to whether our teaching community is qualified enough to teach in a productive way, as it has been observed that teaching gets boring as it focuses more on the textbook. Teachers explain within the textbook without bothering to give further outside the box explanation; naturally making students less interested. Our education system encourages the students to become bookworms and does not prepare them for handling the real problems and challenges of life.
My idea towards the improvement of present education system is that, there should be classes on oratory &communication skills and further a training program needs to be initiated to conduct various research activities as well. Also training should be imparted to us to learn essay writing, paper presentation in seminars, which help students to develop research aptitude and intellectual confidence at young age. It is time to understand the importance of changing old system for the better future of society as well as the country as a whole.
The people in power must understand that Nagaland’s education system must require serious reforms. Instead of making excuses we should look out on how to reconstruct the system in a better way. Moreover; the world that I understand is dark enough to encourage me to be a ‘light’, hence this ‘write-up’, my little effort towards ‘CHANGE’.As thoughts gets deeper the Answer we seek may take forever to discover or who knows it may not exist at all. The ultimate way of solution is to “CREATE” an answer to give meaning to it. One step to goodness can change the system that we live in for a better tomorrow.
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thoughtwill delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Aniruddha, Meren and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.