Educational Scenario of Longding, Arunachal Pradesh ( By Nyatum Doke ) – While I was on an awareness tour at the picturesque village of Kamhua Noknu in Pongchau circle of Longding, I was requested by school faculties to pay a visit to the school (which has smart class and smart board). It was already dark and as soon as I entered the school the light went off and it was pitch dark all around. Too much for smart education!! We smirked and laughed together.
It is said that education is the bedrock of any society and without education no society can flourish. In the case of Arunachal, it has the dubious distinction of being ranked top from the bottom in the index related to education. The government of Arunachal has been trying a lot to improve the system of education. Despite that some institutional, infrastructural/logistic and policy issues can be seen if we look at the educational scenario closely. These problems grappling the system would be mostly same for most of the district.
When I was in Longding I interacted with the DDSE and some principals; they shared that most of the schools are facing acute shortage of subject teachers . Also, they shared about the various issues in transfer posting of the teachers. The DDSE shares about the shortage of skilled and trained manpower which hampers the normal office administration and leading to slow pace of activities in the district. Then he informed about the lack of internet facilities in most of the schools in the district owing to which various online based activities cannot be carried off in time effectively.
Another issue that is common for most of the departments in Longding district is the issues of banking services. The lone SBI bank in the district headquarter is overburdened and unable to provide basic services like opening of account for the beneficiaries. Due to non-opening of Bank accounts at least on an average 42.2 percent of children are deprived of the benefits from Prime Minister’s and Chief Minister’s flagship programs like Vidhya, sanitary napkin schemes, uniform schemes and other schemes.
On the positive note it is to be noted that Longding has very healthy enrollment in the majority of schools in the district in 2023-24 the enrollment is 10774 (Boys 5093 and Girls 5681) which is comparable to any other district of the state with healthy enrollment.
However, in order to ensure that the quantity becomes quality- it is important that we need to look into the issues and try to address the same. It is good that we adopt smart boards, smart/online classes; but it is equally important that basic infrastructure like-power backup and internet is ensured so that the actual results can be realized. Then, without adequate numbers of trained human resources any project is bound to taste the dust.
Also, all the programs of the government are connected with each other like a chain with the most important link being the banking system. The problems in the banking in the district like Longding should be studied properly and necessary corrective measures must be taken up at the earliest to ensure that benefits of various schemes reach the needy.
To add, an ASER-like survey with some modifications should be carried out throughout the districts of Arunachal Pradesh to understand the needs of the various schools/students. Reforms in the education sector is something that cannot be neglected, ignored, sidelined or made to wait as “School is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside”- our future will be determined by the system of education that we build.