Education is the most vital process that contributes to all round development of a society. It not only brings about the best in human personality, but can also be the medium of peace and progress of a nation. Education is a critical factor in improving the quality of life of the people, in eradicating poverty and accelerating economic growth. It is the lifeline of any modern day civilization or country. “Without education, we cannot see beyond ourselves and our narrow surroundings to the reality of global interdependence. Without education, we cannot realize how peoples of other races and religions share the same dreams, the same hopes. Without education, we cannot recognize the university of human aims and aspirations.” – Kofi Annan.
Mizoram is among those states where education was first initiated and popularized by the British. Missionaries were responsible for the growth and institutionalization of education in the state. The first educational institution in Mizoram was initiated by the missionaries in the Aizawl region in 1897. The educational scenario in Mizoram today as viewed from the angle of literacy is very promising – at 91.58% and stands 2nd among the states in India, next only to Kerala, according to the 2011 Census. It is really not a figure we can much be proud of as education should be viewed from the angle of its contribution in improving the quality of life of the people and thereby eradicating poverty and accelerating economic growth, in which Mizoram is lagging behind. The main issue is that the current educational system is not able to produce employable graduates who can compete with graduates from other parts of the country. This results in the increase in unemployed graduates every year.
STATE EDUCATION REFORMS COMMISSION-MIZORAM
Educational system of any society needs regular changes and reforms in the light of the emerging issues, concerns and challenges. Recently, Mizoram has set up a State Education Reforms Commission with a view to promote qualitative change and reforms in the field of education. The report of the commission is an important guide towards restructuring the education system of Mizoram. The report suggests that in tune with the provisions and spirit of ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009’, the school education in the state may be readjusted. The national programmes like the SSA need to be implemented in letter and spirit. The report puts particular emphasis on pre-school education and recommends that institutions like SCERT may step in to help the state in this respect with documentation and research. The report emphasizes on the merits and applicability of open and distance learning system in supplementing the conventional and classroom based formal education and also in providing avenues for vocational education in the state. It may be pointed out here that the north-east region in general and Mizoram in particular could be developed as India’s hub for quality handicrafts and forest-based products. The report deals with some of the basic concerns of curriculum. In this connection, extra emphasis may have to be given on science and mathematics education with the application of innovative methods, kits and practices. The report also points out that with a view to achieve all-round development of the students, school curricula should have definite components of health and physical education, art education and work education. The report makes a particular reference to the provisions under Section 29 of the Right to Education Act 2009 and suggests there should not be any public examination for the students from Class I to VIII but with a continuous process of monitoring and comprehensive evaluation. A system of grading replaces the marking system. This system is currently being introduced in most private and govt. schools today with great enthusiasm from the teachers, parents and the students. The report suggests that...