(Left) Students learning to weave bamboo baskets at New Creation School, Sekrezu. (Right) Vesalu Swuro. (Morung Photo)
Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | March 8
Perched on the far-flung village of Sekrezu under Phek district is a 7-year old school that is filled with curious little minds of rural students who come from an overwhelming number of 28 different neighbouring villages.
Behind the ‘New Creation School’ as it is named, is a woman called Vesalu Swuro from Dzulhami village who strongly felt that she should come back to her native land and work for the welfare of the rural people. This realization dawned on her when she was undertaking frequent tours across Phek district and other parts of Nagaland as the women secretary of Chakhesang Baptist Church Council (CBCC).
She herself grew up in Chozuba and studied at Eastern Christian School, Chozuba after which she pursued B.A from Patkai Christian College and further studied M.A in Religion. However, after serving as women secretary for 15 years, she moved to Sekrezu along with her missionary husband in the year 2012, leaving behind the luxury and convenience of an urban life.
“Initially we did not plan to start a school. We were more focused on the spiritual development of the students in the village but we felt the need as there was only one government middle school in the area then (only last year a Catholic-run school was instituted),” she expresses. That was how New Creation School was founded with a humble beginning and an enrolment of 26 students for classes A and B in the year 2013. “When we started the school, we had no furniture, no classrooms; we only made do with local arrangements,” she states. The school now caters to the education of a total number of 241 students from several surrounding villages.
The growth of the school over the last 7 years has clearly motivated her and her husband to carry on even as she puts across that, “we are gradually upgrading the school and we currently have up to class 8. I am very happy that the school is doing well. I know it is not comparable with the schools in towns but we are doing out bit to give all round development to the children from the area.”
New Creation School is also known for imparting lessons on traditional weaving, basket making, folksongs and other indigenous knowledge of our forefathers that are fast disappearing. Observing that even people in the village are now losing the traditional touch for these arts, Vesalu Swuro relates that along with the students, the teachers and parents are also learning from resource persons which they bring in from nearby villages. This is the third year the school has been setting aside few days for these lessons for classes 5-8. However, feeling the need to do it more frequently, the school plans to have it once a month.
“We also have gardening on Saturdays,” she expresses and depending on the season, they grow beans, maize, and millet among others. Besides classroom teaching, New Creation School is instilling these traditional values, and also inclusive of Naga Wrestling, Debate, Folksong competition and other skill development. The school currently has 12 teaching staff and is attached with a hostel, managed by 2 wardens and 5 cooks for both boys and girls. Over 100 students presently call it their home.
At 54, Vesalu Swuro is still keen on learning and is simultaneously pursuing a degree on Bachelor of Education in her endeavor to give the best she can to the students. In the past, she also taught in a couple of schools, which, she says, gave her the much needed teaching experience before venturing into a school of her own.
She is particularly happy that the school has an enrolment of a good number of girl students even as she observes with optimism that parents are also not neglecting the girl child but giving equal importance to both the genders when it comes to education. “I want to encourage all the mothers to give importance to the education of children because mothers are the first teacher and if they have the heart, they can definitely do it,” she affirms.