๐“๐ก๐ž ๐’๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐„๐๐ฎ๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐ซ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š ๐“๐ซ๐ข๐›๐š๐ฅ ๐€๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ ๐€๐ฎ๐ญ๐จ๐ง๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ญ ๐‚๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ข๐ฅ (๐“๐“๐€๐€๐ƒ๐‚): ๐‹๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐š ๐๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ž๐ฅ

By Dr. Benjamin Debbarma

August 2, 2023

Tripura, historically known as Hill Tippera, or Kirat Desh with its root in the epical period of the Mahabharata, was under the Manikya kingdom of ancient India. Only on January 26, 1950 Tripura was accorded the status of a โ€˜Cโ€™ category state and on November 1, 1956, it was recognized as a Union Territory. With the sustained efforts and struggle of the people of Tripura, it gained full statehood on January 21, 1972, as per the North-East Reorganisation Act, 1971. For the socio-economic development, preservation of language and culture the TTAADC was constituted in 1982 under the 7th Schedule of the Constitution and later on in 1985 it was brought under the 6th Schedule. Now it is the third smallest state of India in terms of area and eighth in terms of population. TTAADC itself encompasses 68.10% of the state’s total geographical territory and is home to roughly one third of the state’s population.

It has a long history of organized educational system in Tripura since the time of the Maharajas. The Maharajas were not only known as the rulers, but are also known as a architects, administrative reformers, welfare activities, and who have immensely contributed to modern education institutions. Education system which is very much the responsibility of the State. Schools in Tripura is of two entities in terms of boundary jurisdictions, i.e. State-Owned and TTAADC-owned schools. The schools governed by TTAADC are mere ones, because almost all the curriculums are borrow or adopted from the state. However, TTAADC has the authority to govern up to only primary education. This piece of commentary suggests the grim conditions of schools under TTAADC, with regards to overall development of society among the indigenous people of Tripura.

๐’๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ ๐“๐“๐€๐€๐ƒ๐‚

The schools come under the (Education Department) TTAADC which is look after by the Executive Member (Education). To assists every Executive Members (EMโ€™s) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) remains as the head of Administrative hierarchy of TTAADC. After CEO a Principal Officer (PO) is appointed as in-charge of Education Department (who is deputed from the State Government). At the Head Quarter, TTAADC there are two Deputies to assist PO in the administration of School education. The field level functionaries include Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs), Inspector of Schools (ISs) and Deputy Inspector of Schools (DyISs).

In the previous year from 1986 to 2002, as per the provision of sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution, 1374 Government Junior Basic Schools (Primary) were transferred to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC). And from 2003-2004 to 2007-2008, 444 Junior Basic Schools (Primary) were upgraded to Senior Basic Schools (upper primary). These 444 upgraded SB Schools were handed over to the State Government as the Council is empowered only to look after Primary Schools. Under the SARVA SIKSHA ABHIYAN (SSA), more 687 new Primary Schools were established in TTAADC during the period from 2003-2004 to 2008-2009. And 2 Primary Schools were set up in January 2009 by TTAADC government. Besides, 4 (four) Residential Schools has been made functional from Marchโ€™ 2009.

At present TTAADC have a total number of schools of 1714 as per current record. Out of these total numbers 1493 are Junior Basic School (JBSโ€™s), 220 are Senior Basic School (SBSโ€™s) and 1 English Medium Residential High School (HSS) as in the jurisdiction of TTAADC Government. And several residential schools were taken care by the authority. Very recently, English medium schools were given more focus for the better development. In the jurisdictions of TTAADC there are various schools governed by government (central and states), Private aided (or government-aided) institutions, Local body institutions and Private unaided institutions.

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐ซ๐ข๐ฆ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ

According to the Right to Education Act 2009 the teachers and students ratio should be 1:20. The TTAADC government often failed to manage the guidelines of RTE Act 2009. The medium of instructions (MOI) in the schools were in Bengali-Medium alone and only very recently few schools were converted to English-medium (EM) schools, but not at all in the rural areas of TTAADC. The medium of instructions have been barriers to many of the students, where most of the students become slow learners. Instances, that is true there are schools with fewer students and no, more teachers. Even then the initiatives are taken still various factors have crippled the school education in TTAADC. The medium of instructions in most of these schools were Bengali, and teachers have lack basic teaching knowledge, skill and so on. The sudden conversions of Bengali to English medium schools in urban areas have also caused panic to students, teachers, and parents. However, no schools in rural (TTAADC areas) have been converted to English medium schools so far. Many of the schools under TTAADC have been shut-down, because of few students. Thus, the government have announced to close the schools. Hence, those schools which have lesser student count have been merged with the bigger one. The engagements of teachers in TTAADC were also deputed by the state, contractual teachers (CTs), and Tutors assigned only for a time-bound tenure. Till today, TTAADC remain neglected from schools developmental agendas, with poor infrastructural, school drop-outs, illiteracy, unemployment and so on. The condition of schools, teaching system was critical with shortages of teachers, classrooms, infrastructural shortages and even now the conditions are still grim.

๐€๐๐จ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐†๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ

Since long from 1985, TTAADC has made considerable progress towards the goal of imparting schools education in rural areas. However, the goal of setting up schools, projects and initiative had been adopted from the State Government given by The Union Government such as various number of projects and programmes which were centrally sponsored Schemes most of which have been initiated after the National Policy of Education was evolved in 1986. Keeping this in view, the Government of TTAADC has initiated several policies, by adopting programmes. Some of the initiatives such as District Primary Education Programme of (1994), the Mid Day Meal Scheme of (1995) and the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan of (2001) and the very recently announced initiatives called Notan Disha of (2018) have led some positive impact in elementary education, specifically in rural areas. The present government and its administration are trying to take various major reformative steps in the educational system. This changing in the education system of the state along with the changing of a political era has been termed as โ€˜Notan Dishaโ€™ an initiative aimed at assessing the academic level of students between classes III-VIII. Some of other various steps are โ€“ The department will identify the schools with less student strength, which have another school with adequate infrastructure. The Govt will provide the students with a special allowance for coming to their new school.

The textbooks as designed and adopted by the State level have been abolished. Numerous NCERT books have been directly translated into Bengali scripts were adopted. These books are distributed at free of cost to Classes of I-VIII standards students under the RTE Act. Thus, from 2019 onwards, the academic session for all classes has been changed from January to December to April to March. Then the School Education Department started Special Remedial Classes (SRCโ€™s) from January 2019 to March 2019 for ensuring to help those underprivileged students especially in Rural Areas and TTAADC areas.

๐‚๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง: ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐š ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ž๐ฅ

I called it a โ€˜Punctured Wheelโ€™ because a society will not progress with only a wheel, i.e. primary level education. Society will only progress when it receives overall education from lower level to the highest level. Why only up to โ€˜Primary levelโ€™? Thus, education in any structures of administration follows a structure from primary to higher education/institutions. This grim situation of only up to primary level in education has led to the slow progress or simply given a punctured wheel in terms of educational progress among the indigenous people of Tripura. The teachers of TTAADC were mainly deputed from the state government, except those Kokborok Teachers (KBTโ€™s) and few are only English medium background teachers. Maximum of the teachers were also engaged as contract teachers (CTโ€™s), Tutors (Tโ€™s) only for a fixed period of time-frame. A large number of children continue to dropout from school before the completion of an education cycle, which severely affects the personal, family, society and efficiency of the education system. The children are back-bone of the future. Not only schemes such as MDM, SSA etc. programme have helped the TTAADC in smooth functioning of schools. Rather, the inclusive measures such as upgrading of schools standards, infrastructural, quality education, qualified teachers, standard modules of books, syllabus etc. need to be given at the most urgency. Otherwise, the rural areas (TTAADC areas) will still lack behind to reach or catch-up with the pace with fast development in education system of the urban/towns areas. The proper imparting of educational awareness, community participation, inclusive-learning based in this modern/digital era is a must to the rural areas. Thus, taking more years to complete primary level of education became a serious problem in the states among the indigenous population. So, giving or focusing more on higher level of education will motivate, aspire those young, active mind indigenous learners fulfil their dream come true.

Dr. Benjamin Debbarma holds PhD degree from Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

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3 thoughts on “๐“๐ก๐ž ๐’๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐„๐๐ฎ๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐ซ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š ๐“๐ซ๐ข๐›๐š๐ฅ ๐€๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ ๐€๐ฎ๐ญ๐จ๐ง๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ญ ๐‚๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ข๐ฅ (๐“๐“๐€๐€๐ƒ๐‚): ๐‹๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐š ๐๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ž๐ฅ”

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