Non-Performing Schools

The Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSC) has declared the results for High School Leaving Certificate Examinations (HSLC) and Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examinations (HSSLC) for 2011 with the results yet again testifying to the unfortunate state of government schools in Nagaland. The continuing dismal performance of our government schools should make us question about how the huge amount of State resource being poured into the education sector is being utilized as there is no commensurate results to show for the crores of rupees as shown in official records. Education which falls under the social sector is allocated a major portion of money in the annual budget. Then we have the huge army of teachers being employed under the government. Given the amount spend in the school education sector therefore; our State should be doing excellently. But the latest results indicate the sorry state of affairs of our education system and also those who run the department and schools as well. The government should seriously ponder over whether it is making any sense in running our schools, which obviously cannot compete with the much superior private run institutions. We even question as to whether the government is competent enough to run and manage schools and whether it should be concentrating in doing other things. There have been suggestions in the past about closing down atleast the non-performing government schools. With private schools including those run by religious institutions mushrooming across the State, this merits serious consideration.   
Every year as the results are studied it is becoming clear that Government schools cannot churn out good performances from students because of the poor level of management and the failure to motivate the school system into applying the best management practices there is to running a school. Besides the want of a professional management set-up, the other concern revolves on the random transfer orders being issued, sometimes unauthorized, which is largely the result of external interference in teachers’ recruitment and transfers by the politicians. As repeatedly suggested many times in these columns, a complete overhauling of recruitment policy must be undertaken so that the system is able to attract capable teachers who are qualified and committed to their profession. In recent times, the School Education Department had taken some welcome step towards this end. However most of the measures put into place had to be rolled back for whatever reasons or compulsion. Unless a strict and uniform policy is put into place, improving the quality of teachers and education will remain a distant dream. Besides holding competitive examinations for recruitment of teachers, monitoring and evaluation of schools should be carried out vigorously. The School Education Minister should take responsibility and do the right thing by calling for a thorough report on the performance of government schools. The poor result churned out by government schools is itself the reflection of an equally appalling system that encourages everything mediocre. The dismal report card of students from government run schools is as much an indicator on the non-performance of the School Education Department.