It was recently alarmingly revealed that out of a total of 246 Government High Schools (GHS) in Nagaland, 38 are currently running without a headmaster/headmistress (HMs) while 32 are without both HMs and assistant HMs.
No wonder government schools in the state have consistently failed to deliver on their goals. These revelations come against the backdrop of an alarmingly poor performance by government schools in the annual board examinations.
While revealing this startling reality at the NLA last week, the Nagaland State Chief Minister informed that rationalization of administrators for those schools is ‘under process’.
On how the Department of School Education is managing these schools without proper administrative heads, the concerned Minister informed that teachers in-charge were managing the affairs of the schools with proper communication with the department.
It was also revealed that the full strength of administrators could not be filled due to pending court cases mostly relating to seniority disputes – between HMs and AHMs, and also among graduate teachers.
Academic performances of government schools over the years have been dismal, and they have been fraught with problems to do with crumbling infrastructure, proxy teachers etc. This latest revelation only serves to show how grim the reality of government school education in Nagaland is.
The alarm bells have been ringing over the years that there is something amiss in the education sector. The quicker authorities rise up to meet the challenge, the better for the future generation.
But why does an educational institution come to the brink of crumbling? Where were the district inspectors at the onset? Should they not have detected the shortcomings much earlier and raised the alarm?
The blame however should not be laid solely on the laps of head teachers and administrators. Society at large should also take part of the blame. Perhaps a reset is in order—something that not just holds state authorities accountable but also re-orients the approach of unionised groups in the education sector.
It works to deliver a high-quality education to those we collectively embrace. And it works in a different way for those we have collectively refused. When a school fails, it is because we have failed.
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