The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) under the able leadership of the current team headed by Phushika Aomi has done a great service to the people of Nagaland by undertaking a thorough study of the school system and focusing on the all important area of teachers’ strength in every school of Nagaland. There are no two opinions about the fact that the non-availability of teachers at various Government Schools particularly in far flung outpost is a serious issue deserving remedial measure. The problem is nothing new and the reason why this has continued for so many years is because of the failure of the concerned authorities to take the necessary action against the defaulters—most of whom having the necessary political backing to do as they please. Last year, students of a Government School in Mon district had complained about non-availability of teachers and had threatened to go on an agitation. Only then did the government move by issuing the appointment order of teachers to be posted for the school. And given that the NSF Committee has specifically pin-pointed and brought to the notice of everyone including the State government on the need for redeployment of teachers across the length and breadth of the State, hopefully the Chief Minister will have the moral responsibility to undertake a comprehensive review of the teacher-school ratio and correct the defect urgently before the start of the academic session.
The finding of the NSF Committee on Redeployment as such has come to the conclusion that State-wide redeployment of teachers is necessary to bring quality education in the State. The eight points listed in its findings and likewise presented to the State Government deserves top most attention of the Chief Minister. What the NSF has exposed by way of coming out with the findings shows a lot of discrepancy in terms of the total number of teachers and number of class rooms from district to district. In some cases, the difference comes to the tune of about 200 excess teachers in some districts, while some districts shows shortage of about 100 teachers. Further there are many single teacher schools in some of the districts. The NSF has also disclosed that some schools do not have the mandatory extracurricular teachers such as language teacher, P.E.T, knitting instructor, carpentry instructor and drawing teachers etc. while some schools have double or even triple of such extracurricular teachers. Also some schools have excess Graduate and Post Graduate teachers while some schools run with only Undergraduate teachers.
The most damning part of the NSF report is undoubtedly the disclosure that hundreds of teachers are attached to DISs, DEOs and Directorate of School Education without any workload. Nothing can be more deplorable than such gross negligence on the part of the authorities. It goes without saying that random transfer orders issued, sometimes unauthorized must be seriously looked into. External interference in teachers’ recruitment and transfers, including by politicians, should be stopped. Besides, a complete overhauling of recruitment policy must be undertaken so that the system is able to attract capable teachers who are both qualified and committed to their profession as opposed to the huge tribe of truant teachers who continue to draw their salaries without performing their duties. Likewise, it has to be ensured that teachers be recruited through competitive examinations and that monitoring and evaluation of schools should be carried out on a more regular basis. The State Government must act on the report submitted by the NSF and immediately rectify the situation at the earliest so that quality education becomes a reality for the thousands and thousands of children in Nagaland who are yet to get this benefit.