Sukhalu, also an MLA, made the observation while speaking at a statewide project orientation program here.
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Expressing hope that the project ‘The Lighthouse, Nagaland: Enhancing Classroom Teaching And Resources (NECTAR)’ would transform not only the education sector but also impact lives beyond the classroom, Sukhalu said that an overhaul in the system would mean better quality education and improved human capital. Public school education in Nagaland comprises around 2,000 public schools serving about 150,000 students, while private schools make up a significant part of the education system, with 717 of those institutes enrolling about 2.20,000 students, he said.
Many public schools are in rural areas where students are more likely to be first-generation learners with limited domestic support for learning, Sukhalu said.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the state was facing a learning crisis, the MLA said.
According to 2016-17 data from the central government’s Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) for primary education, Nagaland is in the bottom five among all states in terms of net enrollment rate (75.63 percent), retention rate (45.5 percent) and transition rates from primary to secondary education (79%).
The northeastern state also has the second highest dropout rates at the primary and upper primary levels at 20.9 percent versus the national average of 18.2 percent, according to UDISE data.
The advisor regretted that the situation is worse at the secondary level, as Nagaland ranks penultimate among the states in NER with 34.03, while at the upper secondary level, the NER falls to 19.62% compared to the 30.95% nationwide. .
The state also performs poorly in basic reading and numeracy skills, Sukhalu said.
Low enrollment, retention, and transition and high dropout rates are due to a limited number of composite schools, a lack of systematic efforts to map and attract out-of-school children, and parental concerns about quality of teaching, especially in public schools. , he said.
Approximately Rs 500 crore to be provided by the World Bank for the project, in a phased manner, has immense relevance to the education system in Nagaland as it aims to improve the governance of schools across the state and also improve the practices of teaching and learning environments in selected school complexes, Sukhalu said.
The success of the project predominantly depends on the collaborative efforts of all entities and stakeholders who have various roles and responsibilities, to varying degrees, he said.