|Special Report Vol. 2 Issue No. 12||October 1 - 15, 2005|
THE Nagas today are a rapidly developing community. The strides taken have been made possible mainly due to education. A new breed of Nagas is emerging today who have a modern out-look, broad vision and ready to take on the world attitude while at the same time strongly rooted to their tradition and culture. But still a huge amount of work has to be done at the grass root level as Nagaland still has sizeable illiterate population, mainly children, who are yet to receive adequate education.
The Nagas who have climbed up the ladder are mainly ones who have received education outside the state in mainland India or abroad. So a definite policy to strengthen and upgrade the Education machinery inside the state has been felt for long.
The State has now risen up to this and is going all out to gear up the Education front. The nodal body is the Department of School Education that looks after Elementary, Secondary, Higher Secondary, Adult and Health Education in the State.
With the enactment of Communication of Public Institution and Service Act 2002, the Department of School Education framed necessary rules for Communitisation of Elementary education in the State.
Communitisation consists of a .unique partnership between the government and the community involving empowerment, decentralization, delegation, capacity building and tapping resourceful talent in the community for ameliorating the state of affairs of the government institutions in the villages delivering essential services for education and health etc. The Department had initially communitised 205 elementary schools covering 90 villages in the first phase in 2002. The state then decided to communitise all elementary schools with effect from academic session of 2004. The process is continuing. Sarva Shikhsa Abhiyan (SSA) is a new convergent scheme launched by Govt. of India from 2001. It is presently in mission mode. It is a “People’s movement for Education for All” with its central theme as “Read all, Progress All”. It seeks to fulfill the Constitutional obligation of providing useful and relevant elementary education for all children in the 6-14 age-group by 2010 and also to bridge social, regional and gender gaps with active participation of the community in the management of Schools.
In Nagaland, the Communitisation is the vehicle of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Accordingly all funds meant for school development, including construction, are now being remitted to respective Village Education Committees (VEC) Account.
Apart from managing the Nagaland Board, of School Education, the Department is also providing free text books to all children in the Government Schools through respective VEC till Standard Eight. SCERT has also brought down the cost of textbooks at the primary level.
Science Education is today being regarded by the state as one of the most important subject especially for the young learners. The students are given opportunity to participate directly in practical science outside of their classroom teaching through other co-curriculum and extra curricular activities. Yearly seminar and exhibitions are held on the topics given by NCERT.
Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) is a centrally Sponsored Scheme, which emphasizes on the removal of disparities and providing educational opportunity to all children irrespective of disabilities. The scheme is operating in the state since 1085. Almost 1500 students of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) spreading over 23 districts in the state are covered under the scheme.
Total literacy Campaign (TLC) and Post Literacy Programme (PLP) under Adult Education programme targeting the age-group of 15-35 years have been revamped. The State Mission Authority of SSA has been designated as State Literacy Mission Authority (SLMA) and the District Mission Authority of SSA has also been designated as District Literacy Mission Authority (DLMA).
The scheme is also in mission mode with financial sharing pattern of 80-20 between tlie Centre and the State. About two and a half lakhs adult illiterate have been identified to be covered during the year. Training of Key Resource persons have been conducted in collaboration with State Resource Centre and Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
Today many students are getting various kinds of scholarships from the State. The Department of school education sponsors 60 students in Sainik School, Imphal. In addition four students are also sponsored to Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun. Selection process is through all India competitive examination. The Department also sponsors girls students to study in Hindi at Banasthali Viodyapith, Jaipur (Rajasthan). Scholarship from the CORPUS fund of Children Education Assistance Fund is awarded to students at the elementary and secondary stages.
Capacity building of teachers is another area, which is getting stress. Mass teachers training in the new pedagogy for elementary school teachers under SSA have started. Re-orientation updating the knowledge/skill has to be a continual process and is being given due recognition. The department also deputes 40-60 teachers in various subjects to various locations of CCRTs and 55 graduate teachers are deputed to NCTE annually for B. Ed degree courses. The activities under Agri based Education section is a continual process with an aim to inculcate the dignity of labour in the minds of the students. In these activities students of Nagaland are today learning to appreciate the nature’s gift and its beauty, which is a component of Environment Sciences.
As an effort of cast off alienation with mainland India, Hindi Education is now being given importance. The existing Hindi Training Institute has been upgraded to College at Dimapur with a view to equip teachers with higher qualification in Hindi.
Under 3-language policy, Hindi language has been made compulsory at Elementary School Leaving Certificate Examination. Every year 25 to 30 in-service Hindi teachers are also deputed to various Institutes for acquiring higher qualification.
Vocational Guidence and Counseling Service to promote and help the students to develop awareness for all round developments along with their academic studies in various fields at all levels are being provided so that they may become useful and fruitful citizens. Seminars. Workshops are being conducted with the NCERT/CIVE. To promote vocational Education and formulating State specific curriculum. Tools and materials are also being provided to schools promote pre-vocational programmes.
The Department while executing the policies and programs for providing balanced education in the State, has also given due emphasis on the development of girls education. Vocational Teachings have been introduced for girls in the schools. For this, a separate section (Women Education Section) has been set up under Directorate of School Education.
On adoption of modern technology, the Directorate became one of the first Departments to undertake a massive computerization programme for the establishment as well as Data Computerization. A full-fledged Education Management Information System has been established with Internet connectivity.
For long Nagaland has been associated with turmoil, but the situation is rapidly changing today. Ceasefire agreements with both the underground factions of NSCN have ensured peace in the State. A reform in the Education Sector is one of the main factors responsible for this changing scenario. Right efforts are being made in the right direction. The need is to continue the good work. Results will surely show m due time.
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