I remember when I got my HSLC result. I was excited, nervous and wondering what I would do next. One thing I was sure of though was that I didn’t want to continue my studies in Nagaland. Studying out of Nagaland seemed to hold so much glamour and I felt I was now a big boy and wanted to be free from the everyday control of my parents. So, I went off to Shillong and joined St Edmunds College but quickly felt I didn’t like it, rushed off to Bangalore for further studies, and then landed up in Hyderabad to finally end up here in Dimapur after completing all my studies. Without a doubt, I had a fantastic experience and exposure in studying and working beyond our state. And I am sure there are many more who will be following my restless footsteps in pursuit of a degree, career or maybe just for fun.
My elders love to tell their story of how they struggled to go to school. Many of them had no choice but to go to Kohima, Shillong and beyond. But, I think times are changing now. I think Nagaland is turning into an education hub. I think we are reaching a situation where students can get quality education right here in Nagaland, be it schools, colleges or universities.
Today, do we still need to go out of Nagaland to get quality education? There are both pros and cons for this. On the one hand, there is fantastic infrastructure, meeting top students of other states and an experience and exposure of a new location and way of life. There are also more specialised courses and experts to learn from and even employment opportunities. On the other hand, are our young students mature enough when they venture out at class 11 or for their Undergraduate education? Can they make the right decisions and avoid the temptations that come with the freedom of being away from home? Many students do succeed but I think many more fail.
That being said, not every institute in the famed metros of India is fantastic and not every place is an ideal place to learn for everyone. So, if someone is going to study beyond Nagaland then they should aim for the top institutes and not go blindly. But if they are not studying in a top institute, they might probably be better off studying right here in Nagaland and venturing out only when they get into the institute of their choice.
Nagaland has a lot of schools affiliated to both National Boards and the state board. We have a top central engineering university in Dimapur district with the National Institute of Technology and our very own Nagaland University is ranked 195 in the country. Many colleges in Nagaland are accredited under the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and we have a lot of qualified people to teach our students as compared to the past. There would be nothing better for the economy, employment and for industry if Nagaland became the education hub of choice. An education hub, not just for our students but for students all over the country and even the world.
But for Nagaland to be an education hub, it isn’t enough for a few institutes to do well. It needs many good institutes starting from schools, to colleges and universities. It would also need a city and state that is attractive enough to excite people into visiting and coming here and maybe even calling Nagaland home. It isn’t just about the students, Nagaland needs to be safe, interesting enough for top faculty and talent to want to come and do research and work here. Students graduating eventually need to find work, whether in Nagaland or beyond. The main advantage of studying in the metros is probably the job opportunities available after graduating and the plethora of options. In that sense, industry and education are always intrinsically linked.
That being said, it would be wonderful to have students from all over the country and even abroad coming to Nagaland because of the quality of our education and the quality of life our state has to offer. Then, maybe instead of going off to the metros and other places searching for education and jobs, we could have others come here for the same.
I know a student from Tetso College who studied her entire life from Nagaland right from school all the way through college and completed her BCom under Nagaland University. She got a scholarship to an Australian university to pursue her MBA with her course fees taken care of. I think this is proof that you do not need to study in Delhi or go to Shillong to study abroad. You can do it right from Nagaland, and be in a position to compete with other international students.
So, with the NBSE exam results just declared and the hectic hunt for admissions going on now, for all the 14335 HSLC students, 8325 HSSLC arts students, 1003 HSSLC commerce students and 2179 HSSLC Science Students, if you are going to study beyond and take up a course, do it for the right reasons. Or, why go anywhere else?