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Nagaland: Quality education in govt schools remain illusive

Morung Express News
Kohima | August 30


Keviphe village under Kohima district has not produced a single matriculate. “The officials make fun of us when we go to the Department and voice our problems,” says Sabu Sote, Chairman Village Education Committee.


Quality education is a far cry for this village. The Government Primary School here, established in 1978 is run by a single substitute teacher. 10 years ago, the two teachers running the school were suspended due to irregularity.


The enrollment of students has dropped down to 8 students this year, and the substitute teacher single handedly manages four classes, class I-IV, for the eight students every day. “This village is no place for education. No one can receive good education looking at the conditions of our school here,” laments Sote.


The Village Education Committee sent a memorandum to the Department of School Education and Governor in June this year appealing for deployment of new teachers in the School, however no action has been taken so far. Sote recalls writing and sending applications and memorandums every year to the concerned department with the results being futile.


Further a storm that occurred in May this year destroyed the school kitchen. A request to reconstruct the kitchen was given to the administration and concerned authorities, however the village has not received any response till now. Sote, the Chairman of the VEC, now cooks meals for the students from his own kitchen. “We just receive rice and cooking costs for the mid day meal. We bear from our own expenses for cooking the curry,” says Sote.


Meanwhile, at Government Middle School, Kijümetouma, the replacement of a teacher who was transferred 20 years ago was never sent. A Math teacher was appointed when the school was upgraded but the teacher never came. It does not matter if the school was established in 1958. After 58 years, instead of progressing the student enrollment has dropped down to 34.


The teachers here informed that many parents are now sending their kids to towns. No school grant has been received in two years. The teachers have to collect money to pay the admission fee of students because according to the VEC Chairman, “Only poor kids come to this school. Even a hundred rupees is a huge amount for poor parents. Parents pay with great difficulty.”


At Government Middle School, Kijümetouma, five computers lie unused because there are no computer instructors. One finds the same case in Government High School, Dikie in Dihoma village where the school received seven computers but no computer instructor. “The students do not even know how to operate a computer but they are expected to download their scholarship forms through the internet. Our students don’t even know how to switch on a computer. How can they be on par with the others? Where do you get quality education? How do you ensure quality education?” questions Thepfuneilhou Yashü, Head Teacher.


Besides the major issues of non-deployment of teachers, shortage of non-teaching staff and failure to pay the salaries of teachers on time, most government schools under Kohima district are also affected by problems such as insufficient supply of mid-day meal, sports materials, school grants, lack of libraries and laboratories.


The failure to ensure quality education in government schools has compelled many parents, sometimes many belonging to the BPL, to send their children to private schools in the capital. This has a direct impact on the economy of the family, often leading to poverty. “Parents today send their children to private schools with great difficulty, where one parent has to work in the village while the other parent has to move to town to look after their children pursuing education in towns,” says the Village Chairman of Dihoma.