Kohima, 4 November (MTNews): The Rising People’s Party (RPP) met with Dr Kekhrie Yhome, the Advisor of School Education in Nagaland, to discuss critical issues plaguing the education department and to submit recommendations for improvement. In a constructive and collaborative move, the RPP emphasized its commitment to the welfare of Nagaland’s education system.

Acknowledging the commendable work undertaken by Dr Kekhrie Yhome in addressing the challenges “to cleanse the mess in his department” inherited over the years, the RPP presented a series of proposals that they believe will significantly enhance the efficiency and professionalism of the department.

Apart from the submitted points, the RPP also raised the need for the state to have its own education policy like some of the southern states have done. Key recommendations made by the RPP include:

Abolishing the post of Principal Director (IAS): The RPP suggested that the post of Principal Director (IAS) be “done away with.” It said that having too many power centers in a department “will erode the efficiency of any department at the cost of efficiency and professional dedication.”

Establishing a Teachers’ Recruitment Board: It suggested that a Teachers’ Recruitment Board be set up. The RPP acknowledged the Advisor’s concerns regarding the feasibility of existing bodies, such as NSSB or NPSC, conducting teacher recruitment.

“This recruitment board, however, may be set up in such a manner that department officials are not involved in the recruitment process so as to prevent conflict of interest,” it added.

Shifting Focus to Student Welfare: The party emphasized the need for department officials to prioritize students’ welfare over “developmental” activities, which, they argue, have contributed to the current state of government schools.

“The unfortunate malaise in the department is the more than eager-beaver attitude of department officials concerning ‘developmental’ activities rather than concentrating on students’ welfare which is another contributing factor for the poor state of government schools,” it said. It also said that past claims of shortage of funds for the poor performance of schools in the state is disingenuous and ludicrous. “The number one problem with the DoSE is poor management,” it emphasized.

Timely Salary Payments: The RPP highlighted that, in any case, the salaries of teachers as well as police personnel and health workers should not be delayed under any circumstances. “This fact is striking when compared to the non-teaching staff and officials who do not face such issues,” it stated.

The RPP expressed concerns over the numerous strikes and protests in recent years, indicating a lack of government concern for the state’s education system.

Budget Allocation for Education: The RPP critiqued the meager budget allocation for the School Education department. It noted that out of the total budget of Rs 1781 crore earmarked for all departments under “Approved Sectoral Outlays for 2023-24,” the School Education department received only Rs 12 crore, a mere 0.67% of the total outlay. This allocation is significantly lower than other sectors, such as DUDA, which received Rs 23 crore. The RPP compares this to the Delhi government, which allocated 21% of its total budget to education during 2023-24. It argued that such misplaced priorities reveal a lack of focus on quality education.

Elimination of Yoga Teachers: The RPP proposed that there is no need for Yoga teachers in schools. “That Yoga is both a physical and a spiritual exercise is an established fact, and their continued presence is against our ethos and culture,” it maintained. However, the RPP pointed out that the Advisor clarified that no Yoga teachers are being appointed by his department.

The RPP’s recommendations come at a crucial time when the Advisor is committed to implementing structural changes within the education department. “The Hon’ble Advisor is committed to putting structural changes in place and it’s important for all the stakeholders to support him as he undertakes a very challenging mission,” the RPP said in a statement.

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