In an encouraging move Nagaland has decided to do away with the Alternative English subject and replace it with textbooks on state heritage and culture.
The initiative has been taken by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Nagaland in bid to preserve local culture and traditions of the State.
The Nagaland SCERT has developed a Nagaland Heritage Studies Textbook series to replace Alternative English as a subject up to Class 5 throughout the State.
Nagaland Governor, P B Acharya on Tuesday released the textbook series at a function held at State Institute of Educational Management and Training (SIEMAT) hall of SCERT in Kohima.
Terming the day as a ‘historic’ one, the Governor in his address lauded the efforts of SCERT for its commendable task of developing the textbook which will help the Nagas preserve their identity.
He lamented almost all the states of the country were slowly losing their heritage and culture, including Nagaland, and unless corrective measures are taken, ‘we will lose our identities’, he said.
According to Acharya, research has shown that imparting education in one’s mother tongue at the primary levels is always better.
The Governor also urged one and all not to hesitate to use their mother tongues even if they belonged to an insignificant community.
The Governor pointed out that many universities in the country are offering foreign languages but there not a single university is offering studies in tribal dialects.
Acharya also said that both political and social will are required to preserve one’s identity and culture.
Nagaland State Commission for Women chairperson, Dr Temsula, in her address said that any discourse on Naga identity, history and culture has to depend on oral traditions as ‘we do not have any contemporary and indigenous written accounts of our history’.
She also said transforming an oral story into a written one should mean transferring the cultural ethos in the original onto a script and for this the first recipient should be ‘the mother-tongue and not another language’.
SCERT director, T Sekhose, in his brief report on the project said Nagaland has been blessed with different cultures and the attempt to tap its potential took years since this project was started in 2015 and required over 50 seminars and other necessary groundwork.