The moment we reach is the era of “Survival of the fittest” as the world is rapidly changing with the advent of modern technology and education is the means by which a child can be trained to meet the challenges of globalization and rapid technological development in the world. In this context, UNESCO’s medium term strategy 2002-2007 outlined the improvement in the quality education through diversification of contents and method and promotion of universally shared values.
Therefore, finally the state curriculum and syllabus for both Elementary Education and Secondary Education have been revised as per the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)/2005 to bring the educational system of Nagaland at par with the best in the country and envisage attaining a higher level of academic and intellectual excellence.
No doubt, one must appreciate the complicated tasks undertaken by the NBSE & SCERT, Nagaland to meet the emerging challenges and needs of the society through development of flexible curriculum and external examination system, modification of question paper format, introduction of school based evaluation system (continuous and comprehensive evaluation) and new scheme of evaluation like grading system which can ensure that the marks secured by the students of their examination are true indication of their merit and their eligibility to higher education is not jeopardized.
The expansion of virtual classroom facilities with integration of Information Technology through computer assisted learning in the present educational reform can create “New Educational Culture” to meet the quality challenges in international competition. We also welcome the new educational policy in the sense that it is the fundamental to all round development of a child and its society to face every challenges of 21st century.
Introduction of continuous and comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) as one of the measures to bring qualitative improvement in school education. This encourages lopsided personality development of a child taking into account the assessment of both cognitive and non-cognitive learning outcomes. The scheme CCE is inspired by the idea that it is the teacher who knows the pupil best and it is through the teacher that we would get to know the learner is progressing with reference to his/her own earlier achievements, with references to his/her peer group as also with reference to the expected levels of attainments set by the teacher.
In the words of the famous educational planner, D.R Gadgil, Qualitative improvement in education, whether we look upon it in relation to better text-books, improved teaching methods or examination reform, depends to some extent on additional resources properly employed but to a larger extent on the ability and sincerity of the teachers. A teacher who knows a curriculum beyond its surface level, a teacher who knows the criteria according to which the content was selected and sequenced would be able to transact it more effectively than a teacher who is less informed about these aspects of the curriculum. The student’s level of development and their interests are better known to the teachers than to curriculum framers. The team that develops a curriculum for a particular subject and a particular grade pitches it at the level of the average learner. But the student who faces the teacher need not necessarily be an average leaner. Besides, all learners differ from each other and all good teaching has to be individualized. This individualization of teaching and learning is the responsibility of the teacher because(s) he is the primary agent to ensure its proper transaction.
It must be remembered that the Government either Central or the State leaving no stone unturned to influence the school curriculum through huge financial support which is next only to defiance. The launching of SAMAGRA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN (SSA) may be recalled a country wide revolutionary project also aimed to improve the quality of education by constant training to the teachers.
As teachers, we are accountable to the progress and development of our students particularly the end result of their academic performance but becomes a serious concern over dismal performance of most of the Govt. schools in examination over the years despite of huge investments by the State Govt. when there is a question of effective implementation of new educational policy in the State, it requires more hard work and dedication of teachers no doubt but at the same time one many not ignore the ground realities faced by the Govt. School teachers for effective teaching learning process.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi to Mrs. Fisher, “Go to the villages and help the most wretched of all, for if you do not help the village, you do not help India. India is the village.” It is more important to emphasize the needs of educational development of village schools because statistically the number of Govt. School in villages are more than in towns and cities.
Most of the common problems generally faced by the village Govt. School teachers are with several shortcomings in children like lacks of basic knowledge, proper motivation, competitiveness and moral consciousness, poor communicational skills in English, influence of dropout students and involvement in domestic works specially the girl child. At the same time limited care of parents on children education brings a major concern. Moreover the unsuccessful students either in admission in private schools or in end-term examination are appeared seeking admission in Govt. Schools.
In the word of Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, “When it is not possible for us to have our way in, try to bring the pupils to our way by blackmails, by coercion and by such other methods.” Efforts can be made to improve teaching method making it more innovative and child centered, to develop personal qualities and professional competencies of the teachers through intensive training programme and action research, to strengthen the internal management of schools and communicational network between the Village Community, parents, teachers and school authority for a better interpersonal relationship, to introduce supplementary monitoring system for children education at home by the teachers. It is also important to involve qualified teachers in teaching process from Primary level onwards and complete ban on proxy teachers.
According to renowned educationist Mannheim, “Education means the fostering of free development of the personality through the unhampered unfolding of innate qualities.” Therefore, the greatest challenge is the sustainable educational development through which a child can interact with the world around to build intellectual capacity and personality. It is the time to re-evaluate our line of thinking and prepare ourselves to go the extra mile to meet the changes and to earn success and recognition despite of many hurdles and shortcomings.
(The writer is a Rtd Teacher of GHSS, Diphupar-A)