K T Sukhalu, Advisor School Education, delivering his greetings during the State Level Teachers’ Day celebration here at State Cultural Hall, Kohima, today pointed out that there are many teachers in government schools who have not seen classrooms for years but have been keeping proxies. Terming it as unfortunate, he said such teachers not only are bad role models but also compromise the future of students, of generations and of the future of the State. Such activities should be condemned and reported upon, said Sukhalu.
He informed that the School Education department has already started taking action against such teachers, stating that it is not only a criminal act but also one of great moral failure.
“I have said this often before but I will reiterate, if there are teachers who do not want to serve, they should immediately resign rather than sacrificing the future of the students,” he said.
Sukhalu appealed to all the Deputy Commissioners of the districts to take stern action and engage the administrative officers to timely visit schools as the Longleng DC had done.
He said under various initiatives of the State Government, Samagra Shiksha, GOI and World Bank funded (NECTAR) project, efforts are being made to reform the education sector in the State. Professional development, improving and strengthening capacities of the educators/teachers/school administrators to deliver better in classroom transaction/work place are regular activities now, he said.
Further, he said new areas will be explored to build complementary skills for personal and professional growth of our teachers which is critical for their development and emotional wellbeing. He added that teachers are expected to reap the benefits of improved governance and a strengthened Education Management Information System under the World Bank Project. With the implementation of NEP 2020 in the State, the Department envisages appreciable progress in the near future, he stated.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, addressing the celebration, said teachers should not limit their role to providing only academic knowledge as students, apart from academic learnings, also look up to teachers to find their ethical and moral compass and learn the values that would guide them throughout their lifetime.
“Teachers have an extremely important role in making students responsible and contributing citizens of the society. You, as teachers, are shaping the future of our society, our state and country,” said the chief minister, adding that it is a time to introspect, retrospect and plan for the future.
He said with the changing of times, Nagas have moved from traditional learning environments to a modern education system and therefore, teachers should introspect and challenge themselves to give students the skills and value systems that are even stronger than what our traditional institutions had given. He also stressed on the teachers to imbibe the students with skills and values which do not necessarily come prescribed in a syllabus but is provided by the positive environment of learning that teachers build in their respective schools.
Raising concerns on the performance of Government Schools, the chief minister said government schools, year after year, have not come up to the expectations despite the State having a much better teacher-student ratio of 1:12 in the state than the national average of 1:27 and the ratio of state government schools at 1:7. He called upon the teachers and the department to introspect and see how government schools can match or better the performance of private schools.
Saying that the Department of School Education has its own set of problems accumulated over the years, he lauded the efforts of the officers for the hard work they have been doing to address these issues. He said many pending issues have been resolved despite the state government’s financial constraints and assured that he will continue to push them to perform even better.
Rio added that the state government, having recognised the hardships faced by the ADHOC/Contract teachers who were recruited through open advertisement under erstwhile SSA and RMSA of 2010 and 2013 batches, has mainstreamed the qualified eligible teachers and have granted these teachers ROP 2010 with promotions being done in a more regular and faster manner.
The state government is also working towards strengthening the teacher recruitment process by making it more transparent and giving equal opportunity to all candidates desirous to take up teaching, Rio stated and added that training for teachers is also being strengthened.
He exuded hope that with the resolution of many of the issues and the government working tirelessly towards addressing other genuine issues, the teachers would be more motivated and would leave no stone unturned in fully discharging their responsibilities.
During the celebration, the chief minister also conferred the State Level Teachers Award to 20 Teachers from across the State while 50 students were also felicitated with the Chief Minister’s Meritorious Students Fellowship (HSLC 2021 & 2022). He also launched three new initiatives of the School Education department – the Nagaland Reading Festival, Digital Diary for Government Teachers, and A Question A Day (AQAD).