Education in India – Nagaland Board of School Education
Nagaland is a northeast state of India bordering Assam, Arunachal, Burma, and Manipur. It is a predominantly Christian population with agriculture as its main economic activity. It is a gorgeous mountainous landscape with a rich variety of fauna and flora. It is often referred to as the “falcon capital of the world”.
The Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) was created to achieve four key objectives: to determine preparation courses for examinations; to determine the conditions of examinations, conduct examinations, and evaluate examinations; to publish examination results; and to create the curriculum, syllabus, and textbooks for each preparation course.
NBSE is also actively involved in other practices and efforts which support the goals of not only the board, but nationwide education goals. NBSE gives guidance to the government in the area of school education. It conducts regular reforms of evaluation practices and examinations in order to ensure they support education goals and remain current.
NBSE also conducts school inspections to ensure the institutions are meeting established standards. The board also organizes professional training and events for educators to ensure they are prepared to properly serve their students and reach their professional goals. These events include seminars, classes, workshops, and more.
The curriculum designed by NBSE supports both theoretical and practical education. It includes skill-based subjects and a common core education. The skill-based areas cover music, commerce, information technology, travel and tourism, and residential science.
Skill-based areas include partnerships with skill knowledge providers and institutions such as Trinity College London (TCL) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Two of the common core streams, science and commerce, were developed by the Council of Boards of School Education in India (COBSE), and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
There are five examinations conducted by the board: HSSLC (higher secondary), Class 11 promotion, HSLC (high school), Class 9 promotion, and the JEE.
Recently, it was found that NBSE had failed to meet its goals. The Programme Approval Board of the Ministry of Human Resources found that their efforts were not satisfactory in many areas. NBSE has pledged to address the problems in the coming year.
Some of the areas with issues were untrained teachers, administration improvement, and teachers that were not being deployed. Many of these problems were brought to the board’s attention several years ago, and they have made little apparent effort to resolve them. NBSE responded to the ministry’s assessment by explaining that they are in the process of restructuring and streamlining their staffing.
Perhaps the most problematic issues are the fact that they have not addressed the issue of untrained teachers, and that a school built for poor students is not being utilized. There are many aspects of managing schools and school systems that are so challenging that certain flaws or delays are an acceptable reality, but utilizing untrained instructors is unacceptable. Training instructors requires little funding, resources, or time.
There are plenty of willing instructors and plenty of willing instructor trainers. There was also the matter of a school that was spawned as a residential institution for poor students in Dimapur. That school was to be operational within a year of receiving approval from governing bodies, but the board has yet to open its doors. The ministry requested that NBSE make the school operational or they would lose it.
There are scores of poor or homeless students who are eager for the opportunity to study, and it is almost criminal to deny them an opportunity when funds have been spent and a physical facility has been built to allow them that opportunity. These students are the most committed and the most hardworking of all students received by school systems. There are students that will complain about small aspects of education, but these students will walk tens of miles barefoot in extreme weather just for the opportunity to receive education.
The ministry also noted that NBSE fails to account for all of its students and their activities. It keeps no record of dropouts or those in consistent attendance. There were also serious infrastructure problems noted like issues with clean drinking water and functioning lavatories.
Many of these issues likely stem from a lack of proper funding, corruption, or just plain laziness. Many infrastructure issues are a matter of laziness and poor education. The actual task of running a school board (or nation) is obviously not simple, and some people are just not willing to do the work. Much needs to be done in the area of recruiting the right people; people who are committed to actually doing something and who have the skill set needed to execute all the missions of operation.
It is shocking for such gross displays of disregard to exist in this sector. Though the challenges of running a school system are substantial, they are not so great that most of these problems are unavoidable. There must also be more accountability and checks within the system to control corruption and abuses of power. Educational systems are the foundation of the nation. They deserve much more consideration than this.
The future of the Nagaland board is uncertain. There are major reforms required to ensure it serves its students well. There are also major organizational challenges present that require a deep purging of individuals that are obstacles to the progress of not only Nagaland, but the nation. As Kartikeya Sharma of iTV points out the youths of Nagaland, like all youths of India, will be instrumental in India’s future, and they deserve much more than they are currently receiving from the so-called educators of Nagaland.