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Nagaland: District trainers told to focus on nurturing young minds

Kevileno Angami along with others during the training program at the SCERT training hall, in Kohima on Monday. (EM images)

Our correspondent
Kohima, August 30 (EMN): Commissioner and Secretary of School Education and State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Kevileno Angami, on Monday told district trainers to nurture the young minds and help them understand, think critically and analyze instead of thinking concentrate on rote learning.

She held a three-day workshop on state-level capacity building for district master trainers in childcare and early childhood education (ECCE) and fundamental literacy and numeracy (FLN) under NIPUN (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) Bharat Mission, Samagra Shiksha Nagaland, in collaboration with SCERT Nagaland, in Kohima, on Monday.

“It is critical to emphasize and nurture brain growth in a child, as 85% of brain development occurs before the age of 6. Prior to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the focus was not on the FLN, especially the government schools, but now the importance is attached to ECCE and FLN. In this regard, teachers are the game changers for the state,” she said, calling on all stakeholders to work together to fully achieve the goals and objectives of NEP 2020.

She said people will point the finger when the exam results are released.

“But without realizing that unless learning, reading and math are strongly grounded, it will be difficult to deal with in later years,” she added.

State Mission Director, Samagra Shiksha, Nagaland, Temsunaro, told participants to “understand that the COVID pandemic has affected students’ learning progress. However, the pandemic was experienced all over the world and we have no particular reasons for our students’ poor learning outcomes. We all need to think seriously about improving learning outcomes.”

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Citing the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 report, she pointed out that Nagaland’s performance is below the national average, which is a “matter of great concern”.

After the three days of training, the next phase of block-level training will include a target of 6,716 teachers and principals from 1,679 kindergarten and primary schools. Training Learning Materials (TLMs) will be provided to about 38519 preschoolers and 45213 grades 1-5 students studying in government schools, she informed.

SCERT Director N Chumchanbeni Kikon said NEP 2020 gives top priority to achieving basic literacy and numeracy skills among all children by 2025.

“Reading, writing and arithmetic are always regarded as fundamental skills; without being able to read, write well and do basic calculations, a child cannot progress in the education system and ultimately no progress in life,” Kikon said.

Referring to the 2018 Annual Status of Education (ASER) report, she said 72.8% of children cannot read a simple text at grade 2 level, while 71.9% cannot solve an elementary deduction problem in grade 3. .

“Class 3 is considered the inflection point at which children are expected to learn to read, so they can read to learn afterward,” she said.

“The FLN skills enable children to learn more meaningfully in senior classes and acquire 21st century skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Those who do not acquire these basic literacy and numeracy skills find it difficult to catch up later in life and risk dropping out of school. The future of the children depends on whether or not they achieve the basic reading and math skills in grade 3.

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“The way forward to ensure that every child in Nagaland acquires the desired learning competences in speaking, reading and writing comprehension, performing basic math operations and learning basic life skills, by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27, has been identified by the NIPUN Bharat mission Nagaland,” she said.

Similar training programs will be provided in the EBRCs for teachers and school principals. The training program is organized to bring about convergence between the education stakeholders by involving participants from the Department of Social Welfare, the Department of School Education, DIET/SCERT and Samagra Shiksha. The training program is for the district master trainers at FLN and ECCE to provide guidelines for using the teacher handbook on FLN, TLMs developed by SCERT for the preschool and primary school students to achieve universal TLN for all children as per the objectives of the NIPUN Bharat- mission.

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