My Thoughts and Woes on Education in Nagaland

The Right to Education Act (RTE), is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between the ages of 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. However, do children have access to quality education? Regardless of the interest, expectations, and hard labour of an individual, in the end, the individual is calculated with extreme rhetoric brutality, according to the institution they come from: private or government. Students and their parents, most of the time prefer private schools and colleges till the graduation, after which they foray into government institutions. It is an ironical periphery that those who once upon a time were so appreciative of private institutions now, so abruptly negate the same.  

At the post-graduation level, those enrolled in the private institutions/universities are not thought of highly. The reason for such an absurd conclusion of those dramatic people is yet to be scooped, but the most interesting thing is that they are failing to value education: it is their frailty and low exposure of their eruditeness. In comparing the government run schools functioning in the rural areas, to those in urban areas of Nagaland, it the urban areas that are getting all the benefits required for the future enhancement of students.  

It is observed, through board results, that students of rural area government schools are lagging behind their urban counterparts. The success rate is low, and as such, so are the chances for their employment. Urban area government schools have better infrastructure and at least the appointed teachers attend to the classes assigned to them. In rural government schools, however, the infrastructure is greatly lagging. Some schools manage with just two classrooms, which sometimes the students may have to share. The rooms lack proper ventilation and may not be very hygienic.  

This is a contributing factor for wastage and stagnation. It is a common practice for many teachers to hire a substitute who may not have the required qualifications. This practice, mostly seen in rural sector government schools, directly leads to the decline of quality education. Now the causes to the disintegration of adequate education in the rural area can be the inability of the government to provide good infrastructure, and other amenities like apparels, textbooks, clean drinking water, etc for the students. The problem is even more dire because of the lackadaisical attitude of the teachers. Their irregularity and general sense of neglect proves toxic for education. In most private institutions of the urban areas, students enjoy all the necessary facilities provided to them in schools. The schools in urban areas are too numerous to count, and an individual is provided with an option to choose and enroll in the institution of their choice. I have observed that often private schools have more qualified teachers, who skillfully educate their students in a bright manner. They try and give attention to each and every student. To facilitate this, the schools often divide the classes into sections, and this depends on the presence of good infrastructure. Certain private schools in our state have introduced the concept of ‘smart classes’, where learning happens via computers. This enhances their skills and prepares them for the tech savvy world of the 21st century. In comparison, government-run schools in our state seem to lag far behind.  

If we are to dream of capable and well-educated youth in our state, our very first concern should be to look into the matters mentioned above. Government sector schools need to improve drastically. In Nagaland, these schools are filled with children from the economically weak sectors. The government should, therefore, put in more effort and grant more aid to the institutions they have established in every locality. Most importantly, they must ensure that the funds are being used wisely.  

It is very clear that serious reformation is required in the education sector. The establishment of competent educational institutions, especially in the rural areas, can help provide quality education to all children alike. There needs to be an improvement in the infrastructure, and schools must move away from the age-old traditional modes of teaching. The introduction of vocational courses can help the students aptly prepare for the competitive world. The courses must be more relevant, and parallel with the challenges of the present time. The traditional syllabi needs to be abandoned. Teachers do play a very important role in a student’s education. Be it government or privately employed teachers, they must strive for excellence, and should play their role effectively and diligently. A teacher is expected to win the confidence of the students so that there is a better chain of communication, thus aiding effective learning. Students (especially in government run schools of rural areas) are in need of earnest teachers who can guide them in becoming competent citizens of tomorrow. These steps will ensure that the problem of stagnation and wastage is solved. Quality education is the need of the hour. We cannot call our society a prosperous one until every child gets the best education possible.  

Articles published in newspapers and blogs around the country have indicated that there is a growing awareness of the flaws which NET seems to embody with no regrets. There are several controversies surrounding NET. This being said I do have the utmost respect for everyone who qualifies this examination. Until UGC comes up with a more efficient and non-traditional method of testing candidates, thousands of aspiring teachers will appear this examination, clad in simple clothes, without water, testing their rote memory skills. Perhaps American rock band Survivor’s song ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is what’s needed to keep spirits high!