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Education in Nagaland yet to function optimally: Advisor Sukhalu

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, OCTOBER 12: Education in Nagaland at present faces numerous challenges and is yet to function optimally, said Advisor for School Education KT Sukhalu while expressing hope that the Nagaland Education Project (NEP) – The Lighthouse NECTAR would transform not only the education system but also impact lives beyond the classroom in the State.

He was speaking during the State-level orientation and sensitization of NEP – The Lighthouse NECTAR Nagaland: Enhancing Classroom Teaching And Resources (NECTAR), in the State capital here.
The 5-year project, funded by World Bank with an estimated amount of Rs 500 crore, has been constituted as an independent “project” under the State’s Department of School Education since April this year.
Public school education in Nagaland consists of about 2,000 Government schools catering to around 150,000 students, Advisor Sukhalu said.
He said that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the State was in a learning crisis, with low enrolment and low learning outcomes at all levels, large inter-district disparity in achievements, and low service delivery capability at the State and sub-State levels.
As per Government of India’s Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2016-17 data for elementary schooling, Nagaland is among the bottom 5 States in India for its Net Enrolment Rate (NER) at 75.63% as against 85.89% at the national level. Retention rate is 45.5%, and rate of transition from elementary to secondary education is 79%.

Nagaland has the second highest dropout rates at primary and upper-primary levels at 20.9% against the national average of 18.2%, he said quoting UDISE 2016-17.
The Advisor lamented that the situation further deteriorates at the secondary level as Nagaland ranks second from the bottom among States in India on NER at 34.03 while at the higher secondary level, the NER drops to an abysmal 19.62% compared to 30.95% for India.
The National Achievement Survey (NAS) 10 data on student learning outcomes for Grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, and the Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) examinations data for Grades 10 and 12 reveal generally low levels of learning among Government school students in the State, particularly in the areas of Math and Science, with large inter-district variations, he said.
The State also performs poorly on the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) test of basic reading and arithmetic skills, indicating a lack of foundational learning and persistent learning gaps, he said.
Poor enrolment, retention, and transition, and high dropout rates are due to a limited number of composite schools, lack of systematic efforts to map and attract out-of-school children and parental concerns about the quality of teaching, especially in Government schools, he said.

Additionally, many Government schools are in rural areas where students are more likely to be first-generation learners with limited home support for learning, said Sukhalu.
The Advisor pointed out that private schools in Nagaland constitute a significant and growing share of the education system, with 717 private schools enrolling about 2,20,000 students.
Pass rates on the State Board examinations (Grades 10 and 12) are significantly better for students in private as opposed to Government schools, he said.
As such, the Advisor said that the World Bank funded NEP ~ The Lighthouse NECTAR ~ holds immense relevance to the education system in Nagaland as it aims to enhance the governance of schools across the State and also improve teaching practices and learning environments in selected school complexes.
The success of the project depends predominantly on the collaborative efforts of all entities and stakeholders that have various roles and responsibilities albeit in varying degrees, he said.
A transformation and overhaul in education would mean better quality education and improvement in human capital, he said.
This project holds value and promise to transform not only the education system but also impact lives beyond the classroom and sowing the seeds of much needed transformation of our society, Sukhalu added.

Nagaland spends Rs 1400 cr annually on Govt. teachers: Kevileno
Special Secretary School Education, Kevileno Angami in her opening remarks said education is a process to facilitate enlightenment to the receiver and delivery of knowledge. It imparts knowledge, educates values, skills and ways of life, she said.
In Nagaland, education started at homes, dormitories and morungs where the elders imparted knowledge, crafts and ways of life to youngsters.
Modern education took place first in Government schools in kutcha houses and without properly trained teachers but because of their commitment and dedication they were able to raise people to contribute to the society, she said.
Giving a statistics of the Government schools in the State, Angami said Nagaland has 1953 Government schools with an estimated enrollment of 1,66,000 children from pre-primary to Class 12.
She also said that the State has 19,079 Government teachers and their annual salary is estimated at Rs 1400 crore.
With so much resources being spent, this leads to introspection on the quality of education imparted in Government schools in the State, she said.
Nonetheless, she said that while there is a negative picture of Government schools in the State, there are many Government schools which are doing very well with dedicated teachers despite the dismal infrastructure and challenges. “There are proxy teachers but at the same time there are dedicated and committed teachers”, she said.

In this, the Special Secretary said that the Lighthouse project was visualized and conceptualized for those in the field of education so that it will bring a hope for the children to be able to get quality education and lead the State from the front.
During the technical sessions, Principal Director Shanavas C highlighted the NECTAR project while project update was presented by Deputy Project Director Avelu Ruho while Social Specialist, World Bank, Kanchan Rajeevsingh Parmar touched on Environment Social Standard and Project Coordinator Visato Koso spoke on the Environmental and Social Management Framework.
(Page News Service)