Alas! Aya! I have academic publications after publications, I have NET-JRF, I have PhD- the three pillars essential for Assistant Professorship. But how can I apply? They do not even advertise the vacant posts.
– Enunciated angst of an educated youngster from Nagaland
While there is good news, there is also bad news. There is sad news, Page 3 news, sports news, entertainment news, and there is shameless news from Nagaland. The following news, like that of the recurring leadership tussle, falls under the category of shameless news from Nagaland- again!
Most recently, many ‘educated’ Nagas were exposed for allegedly using the back door as their entry into academics. Their names and departments were clearly highlighted. But neither their backgrounds nor the officers/ministers who sold their integrity along with the teaching posts were revealed. Why?
In any case, as much as it is desired that the detailed story and information should be disclosed, yet, we are not going to break our heads over it not being revealed. Our exasperation is, why did the concerned education department not bother to advertise the vacancies? We know that nothing good surfaces from any of the government departments in Nagaland. In fact, the government has become unwittingly ingenious in engineering their own self-destruction, for no other reason but because it is filled with megalomaniacs who care for nothing but self-preservation. However, since the vacant seats are not hereditary, neither are the rights bought by anybody’s ancestor to willy-nilly meddle and do ‘khushi khushi’, but instead belong to the people, we need to know and we have the right to know, why?
Over the years, we have witnessed the fruition of many bright and eligible scholars in our state. They have been to the best institutions in the country, competed successfully with their colleagues, achieved high distinction in their respective subjects, and are well equipped to return to Nagaland and share their knowledge with the future generation. They have fresh ideas, are fearless to read and keep their knowledge up-to-date, and because of their exposure to different cultures and individuals, their outlook is broad and their mind open to new adventures for progressing academically. The students have been under the tutelage of the best teachers and professors who are not only well-known in the country, but whose works and opinions are also greatly regarded at the policy making level internationally. Many of these young scholars, and I have interacted with more than a hundred of them, have expressed their desire to return to Nagaland and teach. They have imagined the design of the syllabi and pedagogy, to change the classroom system and introduce interactive classes where pupils actively participate whereby textbook knowledge is replaced by additional inter-disciplinary insights. The conventional mode of learning will be totally enhanced with newer and better facilities and slowly our students will be able to compete with students from other states. Not just academically, but also in the technical and administrative domain. With their positive and relentless contribution, the state will see unprecedented changes in the society- politically, economically, and in every sphere of life. Alas! These dreams are all but castles in the air. The evil nexus between the buyers and sellers have shattered these dreams, devastated lives, smashed hopes, and frustrated all rationality.
While the buyers work hand in glove with the sellers, hundreds of these youngsters from Nagaland are teaching in the best colleges and universities across the country. What we discard is benefitting the others. Brain Drain! Does the higher education department know what brain drain is? Ask Mr. Pillai. He knows about ‘drain of wealth’; he will tell us about brain drain with most intimate knowledge.
The fact that the government can bring no development and innovation, but still refuses to install its best citizens to fill the gap they create is vexing.
So, what is education? Going by precedent, the higher education department in Nagaland seems to define it as, “The process by which the minds of scholars are trained to buy vacant posts so that the authorities can procure whatever they desire.” This is, with due respect, to all those who uphold their integrity, not just as professionals, but also in regard to taking up the responsibility to nurture good citizens. Regardless of the imposition of this description, it is ‘good education’ that helps raise responsible and healthy citizens. Without good teachers, we cannot have good education. Never! So, why are we denied good teachers and instead thrown into the den of cheaters and corrupt minds? Every citizen should stand up and claim their right to get the best education from the best teachers. Trust me, given their notion of ‘achievement’, we will learn nothing worthwhile. By claiming our rights, we will be doing so much good for our individual selves and society. We will be revolutionizing society by laying down a strong, honourable foundation for our progeny.
One moment please: just think of what would those ‘educated teachers’, who purchased their teaching jobs through illegal means, teach their students? Deconstruct Aristotle and say, human beings are thieving and cheating animals? Will they teach about cheating+backdoor+nepotism = my job?
Take, for example, the Department of Sociology! So, do all those ‘sociologists,’ who slithered in via the back, enter the classrooms and begin with Weber’s “Sociology is the study of social action”? We wish to see how they keep a straight face when extrapolating the term ‘social action.’
What kind of education are they trying to impart, and what kind of future generations are they trying to raise? Are not teachers responsible for inculcating moral values and instilling the ideals of ‘dignity of labour’ into the minds of the students? Sadly, the ones who are competent, possess all the qualities and virtues of a good educator, are willing to go the main door at any cost, and are passionate about teaching, are cheated and denied their rights. Such happenings will be the death of our society; our epitaphs will read “death due to severe embezzlement.”
For decades, the department of higher education has been excruciatingly stingy in advertising vacant teaching posts. Perhaps, unbeknownst to us, the condition of the faculties must be in top-notch condition and have required no additional professors for all these many years. But who are we kidding! Despite all those who were caught, look at the many who are yet still illegally teaching and have escaped the radar. Whether one is under contract or ‘ad-hocing,’ the vacancy should be advertised and a proper channel for an interview should be conducted in order to sieve and retain the good applicants. But, No! The Department of Higher Education and its officials seem to think otherwise; they manipulate and scheme as they fancy, even if it means installing bungling inept and deny the best candidates their due.
Now, with what power and authority vested in them did the department and the officials decide not to advertise the vacancies and fill them instead with “unemployables”? Are they also being pressurized by the concerned Minister/PS?
As good citizens, we need to fight against perverse activities of selling and buying public offices. If not, we will only be encouraging them, and be complicit in their grand alliance. The only difference is one gets the money, the other gets the job, and we will remain staring gargoyles habituated to filing RTIs regularly, just to be baffled at the yet enduring distortions in our society.
Christian ethics is a solution to our plight, however, we have failed as practicing Christians. And I will not delve into trite arguments regarding the success or otherwise of the “Nagaland for Christ” movement.
I only have one request; we are not eternal somnambulists destined to never awaken. We are already witnessing stirrings of an awakening. To use a recent Bollywood example, dare to be the Kangana Ranaut in the world of Karan Johar- dare to resist the established institutions where the ‘haves’ manipulate the system to their advantage at the expense of the ‘have nots.’
Speak out! Act Now!