As the Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) announced the results of the HSLC and HSSLC Examinations, the buzz around it naturally gained traction. The topic will remain a common interest among the people for a few weeks and then it will be forgotten until the next exam cycle. HSLC and HSSLC exam results are always interesting to talk about. However, this year, what is particularly interesting is that the Government Higher Secondary Schools outperformed the privately run ones in Mokokchung in the HSSLC results, something that nobody even bothered to believe was possible. Of course, it was a mere 1% difference. The GHSSs in Mokokchung achieved an impressive pass percentage of 89%, surpassing private higher secondary schools which recorded a slightly lower pass percentage of 88% as per the data released by NBSE. However, the point here is not about the differential. The point is that GHSSs should be performing better than the rest every year – which is not happening save for this time.
It is a proud moment for Mokokchung to have produced the Topper in the Arts stream. We needed a result like this to reinvigorate the community. Coupled with that is the performance of GHSSs. Educators, student bodies, parents and all stakeholders should work on keeping this momentum going. Further, we should now be able to believe that GHSs can outperform private high schools in the HSLC exams too. In almost all cases, GHS and GHSS teachers are more qualified than their counterparts in the private schools. And are paid way much better. As such, they should naturally be producing better results.
There could be a number of reasons why government schools, the GHSs and GHSSs in particular, have been faring rather poorly over the years – one of the reasons being the general perception or notion the society has about government-run institutions. They are not expected to perform better than the private institutions. Not unsurprisingly, they end up performing poorly. Society must now expect and even demand that the GHSSs and GHSs outperform the private schools. Almost all the top technical educational institutions in the country are government-run. Talk about the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Science (IIS), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs). Some of the top universities are also central and state universities. If the government-run technical and higher education institutions can perform so, then the GHSSs and GHSs should too.
There are a number of things that government run schools can do in order to perform better than private schools, thereby making education more accessible and affordable. Some of the things that can be done in our context would be involving the parents by providing them with information about their children’s progress, holding regular parent-teacher conferences, and inviting them to volunteer at the school. Likewise, using technology to provide students with access to a wider range of resources, to personalize instruction, and to make learning more engaging, creating a positive learning environment, monitoring student progress, and holding teachers accountable for their students’ learning are some suggested measures. It should be the endeavour of all concerned to make government schools sought after in Nagaland, and Mokokchung can lead the way.