Dr. Asangba Tzüdir
In what can be seen as a major development, the Directorate of School Education, Nagaland, came out with a list of 573 teachers, mostly primary and graduate teachers, who are attached under the Directorate, DEO and SDEO, notifying that they were detached and re-deployed to their respective schools. From the date of issue of the order, which appeared in the local dailies on November 3, they are given 7 days to join their respective schools failing which strict disciplinary action will be taken against the wilful defaulters.
There have been complaints about lack of teachers in government schools but on the other hand so many teachers were attached in the Directorate, DEO and SDEO’s as ‘assistants.’ One may wonder how they landed in the Directorate, DEO and SDEO’s and their exact nature of work but this re-deployment order is proof that they are not only needed but are supposed to be teaching in their respective schools. Rather than attaching teachers, in case there really is extra burden of work on the existing staffs, then LDA’s can be appointed.
Further, a serious concern is the 50 teachers attached to VVIP’s comprising mostly of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries. Amazingly, a particular Parliamentary Secretary has 9 teachers attached with him, while most have 7 teachers attached with them. Such VVIP culture should be stopped because at the end, it is the schools and the students, who were made to suffer a lot, if not years lost.
Now that the order is out, a positive step towards the development of government schools in Nagaland, the various student bodies in Nagaland should come together to ensure that this redeployment order is translated into action. A concrete action plan should be prepared by the student bodies in case the said teachers fail to report to their respective schools, and the fact that the 7 days notice is going to lapse soon. These are important issues which the various student bodies should take up and also for them to stay relevant as a body.
A much greater responsibility rests on the student bodies for such student related matters and also the fact that the student have a ‘upper hand’ to deal with such matters because of the very nature of attachment of the teachers especially those attached with the ministers and parliamentary secretaries. Further, the government teachers should also come together to lent creditable voice to ensure that these teachers join their respective schools to teach.
As for the teachers who are detached and redeployed, they should comply to the order; with the understanding that they are appointed as teachers and that as teachers their primary duty is to teach their students. This calls for owning a moral responsibility to act in accordance knowing their rightful duty even if it means doing so at the cost of certain unwarranted comforts.
There is no justification in any way in case the re-deployed teachers come together with the intention to protest against the order because they were appointed as teachers and not anything else. As such, let this order be taken as a morally responsible call to the teachers to do the right thing.
(Dr. Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org)