Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Where Will You Study Next? - Kahor Raleng, Head of the English Department & Higher Secondary Supervisor

The hunt for admissions is on, with only a few days left to the countdown of the NBSE HSLC & HSSLC result declaration. What’s interesting is how over the years, certain trends and factors have developed to reveal how students are influenced to choose their course and place of study. Read on to find out how to narrow down your choices better by avoiding some pitfalls of taking admission based only on friends, parental pressure, or marks secured, and ask yourself if it’s what YOU really want for yourself.

Where Will You Study Next?

The next hurdle after exams for students and their parents/guardians is the process of finding the right institute, and the challenges associated with it. One should remember that the decisions taken now will determine one’s future. Every year thousands of students pass their HSLC and HSSLC in Nagaland. Out of these thousands, a few hundreds decide the further course of their higher education, depending on their goals and aims. The rest just go with the flow of things which are subject to the marks scored, convenience of transport, peer pressure, etc. So, how does one look out for the right Institute, course or subject?
From the trends observed, I would like to highlight some points that I believe need to be addressed. Let me categorise the admission seekers into five groups for better understanding.

  • Students who depend on the marks secured:  A significant number of students belong to this category.  At the class 11 level most of the students opt for a stream (Arts,  Commerce or Science) depending on the marks scored in class 10 exam. This trend is followed in the undergraduate level as well. For instance, if a student secured the highest marks in English, this subject automatically becomes the first choice for honours, regardless of whether the student is passionate about the subject. Very often, in these cases, a student either drops out in the 1st semester or drags on through the other semesters by performing poorly. A student should opt for a subject or stream that interests them. Decisions should not be influenced by the subject that has a few extra marks. While selecting the stream or course one should always keep in mind one’s interest and capacity.  A student may have distinction in Science but may be interested in Arts subjects. A student may take up Arts but maybe good in Science or Commerce or vice versa.

  • Students who are influenced by peer pressure: They choose an Institute or stream because of their friends. These group of students should remember that an Institute may not be conducive to them though it is for their friends. Choosing the right Institute matters: an Institute that can provide your specific needs. I have encountered students who were dropped from good institutes due to poor performance but had secured more than 60% after changing the Institute.  

  • Students who fall under parental pressure:  Parental pressure can be immense, thus,  parents need to be careful while taking decisions for the child. Parents usually take decisions based either on the reputation of the institute, the convenience of transport and distance or living expenses. While taking this important decision parents should always take into account the capacity and consent of the child or it may affect the development and performance of the child. The decisions should align with the goals and aims of the child. The child also needs to understand the parent's point of view.

  • Students who seek admission in a certain School or College because they did not get admission elsewhere:  For these group of students, if they are hardworking, it may work out well with them. In the past, there have been students who had very low percentage in HSLC or HSSLC but have done exceptionally well. This may be because they join with low expectations, but the institute exceeded their expectations which motivated them to do well.  

  • Students for whom the School/College is their first choice: Normally, these group of students are well informed and have knowledge about the Institute. They have researched well before seeking admission. They know what they want and where they will get it. They adjust easily and are happy to be a part of the institute. Their goals are set and they are ready to fulfill their dreams. This, I should say,  are the ideal admission seekers.

The process of finding the right Institute and choosing the right stream is not easy. Many individuals cannot attain their full potential or explore possibilities because they made the wrong choice. Goals and aims can be established along the way if an individual takes the right course. Admission counseling is essential as it provides an overview of the Institute, courses offered and criteria for admission. It may also open new avenues and opportunities and provide information on scholarships. While seeking admission, some other important points need to be kept in mind. The Institute should be a recognised Institute. It should be affiliated to a governing body and accredited. There are several institutes to cater to the needs of different types of students.  All it takes to find the right one is to do some research and consult with experts in the field.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Can we call Ourselves Responsible Naga Citizens? -Somungla Khamrang, Assistant Professor, Department of Education

Nagas are no less when it comes to coping up with the rest of the world in terms of using the latest gadgets, dressing up in the most fashionable clothes, driving the newest cars; or for that matter even in the field of education. We have come a long way. However, have all these actually made us become responsible citizens?

Can we call Ourselves Responsible Naga Citizens?

I would like to share my concerns and observations of the life and environment in general in Nagaland. Not to begin this piece by painting such a bleak picture of Nagaland nor is it to generalise people, but I’d like to offload some frustrations and observations here, in the belief that knowing our shortcomings is the first step to correcting ourselves.

Many people in Nagaland our land seem to are have become increasingly selfish. They enjoy adulation and love to be praised where there is actually no worthy or deserving space for it. Many people run after name and fame, while striving for fellow human attention. It is very upsetting to see the absence of discipline among many fellow Naga people. With the advancement of technology, people in our land are trying to cope up with the rest of the world and yet, sadly the quality of will and mind are still bounded and untouched, confined to living in a primitive shell. The latest gadgets, swanky,fashionable cars, sharp, suits and fine dress appear attractive. However, the whole gorgeous facade is diluted by insensible chaotic action, indiscipline and selfishness. For instance, we find the best dressed men in suits driving fashionable cars, smartly violating traffic rules. Many young careless people ride their smart bikes without having any sense of social concern. They modify their vehicles for louder sounding exhaust systems to get the attention of the people, while disturbing the residents and general public. Many educated and well-off people become irresponsible citizens without a care for other fellow drivers who are also stuck in the same traffic congestion, yet these people still try and and squeeze into the little space they can find to get ahead of the long line, and break the traffic rules. Our city is bothered by the insensitive restless drivers and haphazard management of the traffic authorities. Honking of vehicles is one of the most irritating and noise polluting means in our city. Despite the fact that they are aware of the tight and congested traffic which is immovable in the queue, they honk incessantly. The habit of rushing in the highway and, illegally overtaking others, despite the deplorable road condition is another  poor habit of the drivers. All these create a very risky environment for the pedestrians as well as the nearby settlers. From the level of the ministers and bureaucrats to the taxi drivers and lay men, rushing and running all day  through every available opening or space, no matter how constricted, in the highway is a culture in our land. Nonetheless, nobody reaches their destination early. It will be very beautiful on our part to at least have a sense of responsibility in the public space while we are driving.  I believe giving way to those people waiting to cross the road or to park their car in the main road won’t delay us for too long.  We should be more considerate towards one another, respect each other’s right and balance  our privileges to make the situation smooth and friendly. Generally, people are losing the capacity of patience and to compromise personal interest for other people’s interest.

Most of the drivers in our land need to be educated on proper usage of their vehicles with traffic signals, dipper at night, fog light, hazard signs and other modalities. Fancy and expensive cars which are driven by the supposedly “cultured people” have a very bright and sharp ray of high beams, which blind those travelling and affecting their safety. Surprisingly, it is these “cultured people” who have the least sense of respect for the welfare of others. This is how they in a way become responsible for many night road accidents. To prevent any untoward accidents on the road, the State and District transport authority as well as the traffic controlling authority must check and regulate the proper rules with necessary measures to keep the traffic system safe and smooth. I believe that the Indian law under the Motor Vehicle Act and other related Acts provided for preventing and safeguarding the roads and citizens must be sincerely adhered and implemented in our state.

It is my belief that we can be compliant and regulate these offences only when we have a clear conscience and pure intentions through a spirit of appreciation and reverence. Understanding and valuing the social fabric and accommodating public responsibility in this swiftly transforming society is urgently required.  The nature of human free will and independence of thought creates numerous patterns of types of human behaviour. The educated and civilized human being is generally expected to be more congenial and approachable, and it must be so.  However, the standard of the general populace are found in contrary and is failing in what it should be. It is despairing that every human today witnesses the degradation of credibility, depletion of morality, overlooking respect and negligence of moral responsibility, detachment from spirituality, ridiculed uprightness and human feelings, dishonesty, and so forth. With the advancement of systems, techniques and trend in the existing society, we are supposed to advance in our propensity too. But the present generation has a unique standard of advancement, a standard of un-correctable, hypocrisy, petty mind and selfish temperament; unwilling to listen for change and improvement. Seeing the progressive yet detrimental human behaviour in and around us, it provokes and annoys the very peaceful manner of many citizens. Keeping in mind the decent moral liberality and exceptional sociability of our forefathers, the present Naga people have emerged like descendants of another race with a different social set up. 

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Let’s go for a Productive Vacation! - Priyanka Debnath, Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce

Vacations, regardless of the season, give us an opportunity to re-energize and refresh our minds, and also get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you are still wondering what to do this summer, here are a few tips to help make your vacation both fun and productive.

Let’s go for a Productive Vacation!

It’s that time of the year where all the students and teachers will be looking forward in excitement to summer vacation. Academic life can be quite stressful sometimes for the students as well as for the teachers. A break like summer vacation can help us refresh, regroup and do leisurely stuff which we really enjoy such as going for a trip, watching favorite shows or movies, playing computer or mobile games, sleeping the whole day or just staying indoors to escape the summer heat. But the question is, are we really making use of our vacation or just wasting it? Can there be a more productive way to spend our vacation? 

If you think that you are wasting your vacation and confused about how to spend it in a productive manner here are some ideas to help you decide. Serving the society: All of us want to serve the society one way or the other. So, this vacation why not give it a try? Gather some friends and take up an initiative to clean your nearby parks or public garden or marketplace etc.Volunteer at a retirement or old age home and shower them with love and affection. Another one is to volunteer for a church or temple or a mosque. Try visiting a blind home and read to them. By doing these activities you will not only serve the society but you will also get a sense of self-satisfaction and blessing from others.

Protecting earth:  Spend your vacation trying to save planet earth by planting trees in your locality. Or take a bicycle trip with friends to your city and spread awareness about the benefits of bicycles instead of other automobiles. You can start a compost in your locality by collecting fruits and vegetable waste from the neighbourhood to promote organic farming. From the above activities, you can become a face of change and play your part in protecting the planet earth.

Developing skills: Use your vacation to brush up on skills by learning a new language you always wanted to. Learn to play a new instrument, a new dance form, a new technology, driving, swimming etc. Take up a class on self-grooming and develop communication skills etc. There’s also cooking classes or self taught cooking recipes and videos to experiment with in your kitchen.  In this way, you not only learn a new thing but you can also make your resume strong.

Achieve personal goals: Throughout the year you are so caught up with work and classes that you cannot concentrate on your personal life. Why not spend your vacation achieving certain personal goals. . If you love travelling, take a trip somewhere you always wanted to go. For avid readers, think about forming a book club. If you like writing, start up a blog and share them online. You can also ease some of your stress with the help of yoga, meditation or a day at the spa. In addition, you can always use your vacation time to reconnect with family members, relatives or distant friends.

Find yourself: During vacation find time to figure out what your passion is. Think about your strengths and your weaknesses. You can even spend the summer finding your long-term goals and create a road-map on how to achieve them. For students who are still confused about what you want to do with your life, do some research on the various prospects that are available for you. For example, if you want to pursue your further studies then what are the best institutes for that particular course you want to take or what are the various alternatives if you want to discontinue and try something else.

Earn pocket money: If you are a college student, you can get an internship for a month in some companies where you can learn practical work as well as earn some money. And since no one can know your city better than you, this summer, you can also become a tour guide in your own city. Help tourists and visitors explore your city in its depth and earn some bucks at the same time. Or you can take a summer job at a mall, restaurant, showroom etc. and get some work experience to add on to your resume.

There is a quote by John Battelle, “As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation”, which means we all have our daily schedules planned out for us, but vacation is a time we should take out of our monotonous life so as to make our daily lives more exciting. This summer spend your vacation in such a way that after your return to normal life you can tell yourself that ‘it was well worth it’.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A well balanced Naga Society Mete-u Therie Assistant professor, Department of English

The relationship between the individual and the society is sacred. Just as the individual’s thoughts and actions are shaped by the society, the society is the outcome of the collection of different individual’s actions. One effective way of shaping the society is, a right thinking individual with the ability to diagnose and correct the idea of the day. For this 
an effective education is imperative.  

A well balanced Naga Society

I am just any ordinary Naga youth and when it comes to the topic  'Naga Society', this is such a broad topic and I may not be the best fit or too novice to talk about. But as clearly mentioned in the Indian Preamble 'LIBERTY of thought, and expression', I am utilizing the full advantage of these rights, in sharing  my opinion about the current status of the Naga society.

When we look into the Naga society, we see a pool of talented people in every field. Some recognise it earlier in life and use it to the best of their ability whereas some are just too ignorant or unfortunate due to financial constraints. Looking at the literacy rate of the state today, we are proud to hold a literacy rate of 79.55% (as of 2011 census) compared to 66.59% a decade earlier. Our literacy rate has immensely increased which is laudable but the real concern  is, are we really educated? Are we really equipped with the necessary skills to be employable? Or is it just a mere degree with a grandly printed certificate? In this connection, our present day education will result to us with three different groups of people- Firstly, a group of educated people being idle and too critical. Secondly, educated people with a package of bad influence to the society and Thirdly, educated people that contribute, help  and bring positive changes in the society. Looking at the  present education scenario, I regret to admit  but I believe most of our Naga educated people fall in the first and second categories. There are just a handful of people who are honestly working very hard towards the welfare of the society.
It is often  observed that a section of educated people bring more trouble than positive change to the society. With a  degree certificate we want to hold a high position with the intention of working less and earning more. The typical Naga aspiration of taking an easier route which is hardly possible in reality.

We  Nagas try to live a sophisticated life and pretend to be someone who we are not. We think too highly of ourselves which leads us  to drown in our own ego. And we have become too materialistic, greedy, selfish and focused on our own well being, we neglect our role in the society. We often hear our elders saying, the rich have become richer and the poor are  becoming poorer. To answer our elder’s concern,, Aristotle’s saying may best reflect the order of the day;
"Yes the truth is that men's ambition and their desire to make money are among the most frequent causes of deliberate acts of injustice".

When it come to ownership about private and govt. properties, I believe most of us will agree with Aristotle when he said, "the greater the number of owners, the less the respect for common property. People are more careful of their personal possessions than that of those commonly owned.; they exercise care over common property only if  they are personally affected".

In our Society, less support is given when someone is still struggling to achieve their goals however when achieved, there are more people trying to pull them down. People  make a mountain out of a mount which is a source of de motivation for the honest hardworking people. We are more habituated with discouraging than appreciating one another.  A timely realization and correction of this habit is the character of a genuinely educated person. 

We  still have miles to go, we need a reality check to discover our inabilities and humble ourselves. We must also realise that, when we achieve something it is not only because of  our own intelligence, hard work and luck but it is also  because of the constant support of the people around us; our parents, friends, mentors etc. And also because of the help from God who gives meaning and purpose to our lives because every action of an individual causes a repercussion beyond a defined jurisdiction.

It is time for us to wake up from our deep slumber and start our mission for the betterment of our Society for a better tomorrow. We must realise that every little action is an agent of change to the bigger picture of, “let us bring change to the society”..

"I know this is just one bulb. But together if we all change one bulb at a time, we can certainly be more energy efficient during this time of acute power crisis. This is just a very small gesture on our part – but after all, it is the little drops of water that make the mighty ocean.”- Anonymous.

The Christian teaching and principles which we all profess teaches us  that God does not prioritize us by our social status  by the degree certificate we hold. He sees the heart. But when we observe our society, the rich get better opportunities not only in the offices, educational institutions and social gatherings but also in the churches, an institution which is supposedly the embodiment of equality. . It intrigues me to know why the front seats are always reserved for the rich or educated people. Do we even have the audacity to question and try to change ourselves from within?

Do we have the right  education  to discover our shortcomings and in the process shape our thinking to confront and provide  answers to all the previously discussed questions? Can we transform our current society into an  advanced, just and people centric society? .

Let us strive for a balanced society where the rich, poor, educated and illiterate will find that space to ride on the same wheel to work for the same cause.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Smart Investment - Prasenjit Bhadra, Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce

What is investment and what are the benefits of investing properly and strategically? There are various investment strategies available in the market, but it can also be very confusing at times. Here’s some help on the basics of investment and how smart investment can help in setting up better financial security.

Smart Investment 

Generally, investment would mean allocating money with the hope of gaining some benefit in the future. In finance, the benefit from investment is called a return which can be either capital gains or investment income. In the present inflationary rate market, if proper investment is not made, than it is very difficult to maintain a good standard of living with a mere paycheck.

One of the first steps young people can take to achieve financial freedom is through lucrative investments. However, there are certain limitations in such fields; that is, one can succeed in the investing world if only one is willing to fail and take some risks.  As far as Nagaland is concern, according to my view, common men here are quite ignorant about the kind of investments that are available. Although we have many opportunities  for earning money, at the same time we also need to know how to channelize them because how much we earn does not matter, what matters is how much wealth we can accumulate during our lifetime. Before investing, we should also have some knowledge about where to invest, and we can gather information through  the internet or financial advisors in banks, mutual funds agents or some investors who are already in that field for the past few years. Though these days people have started investing only a few have succeeded in  making a profitable investment. The reason for this failure is because  they  invest  only  for the sake of investment, not considering smart investment.  Given here are some tips for smart investment:

Start as early as possible (Time): It is always better to start early because money may be tight in the later stage of life but when we are young adults  advantage and that is time. There is a concept called “compounding” which Albert Einstein has stated as “the eight wonders of the world.” The magic of compounding has the ability to grow an investment by reinvesting the earning and time.

Understand the concept of  investment: The basic rule in smart investing is “never invest in what you don’t know”. Be it secured or unsecured investment. For example, if you are investing in mutual funds, find out what is NAV, entry & exit load, what is fund performance, what affects mutual fund returns, what are the good reasons to invest in mutual funds etc. All this information  can be attained  from the internet or financial advisors appointed by the banks or Unit Trust of India.

Have  patience: It is one of the essential  qualities of smart investors. Getting into investment by means of short cuts or by going for faster options will not help in producing any positive output. Sometimes markets may fluctuate both in positive and negative ways. Investors need to have patience and wait till  the market  booms in the upcoming days because Indian market has huge potential, provided you have invested the money in the right place.

Always have Tax Saving Plans: It is always advisable to have a tax saving scheme in your portfolio, whether we fall in the tax bracket or not. It is a known fact that schemes like National Pension Scheme (NPS), Public Provident Fund (PPF), Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) or Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)do not offer high return but it saves a huge portion of our Income tax to be paid either at present or in future. This should not be misunderstood with tax evasion; it simply means legally using your money in the proper direction, instead of giving it to the government by way of tax.

Equity Investment: Another must-add in your portfolio is equity. Take a look at Sensex graph from the past couple of decades and you’ll know why. For instance, the opening price of Colgate Palmolive share  was @Rs 112.5 per share on 4th Jan 2000, which now stands at 1056.9 (closing price as of 29 March 2018). Equity market has shown remarkable results when investing for longer duration. But it is also risky  to invest in equity shares without proper information. For young people and higher income level investors, it is advisable to go for equity that has  higher returns but only after necessary research of the companies for past few years (Based on Crisil Ranking, Financial Performance & Position etc of the company). But for investors who are not willing to take risks on their own, they can invest on equity schemes via SIP (Mutual Funds), so that the cost of units is averaged out and returns are healthy even during volatile markets.

Always have Plan B: Sticking to one plan might be risky at some point of time. A smart Investor portfolio should contain  a mix of equity, debt and fully secured investment so that each one can supplement and complement the other. It allows investors to be on the safer side so that if there’s a financial crunch, you can find  a way out of it on your own.

As the Chinese Proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”. If we start young, we will get more time for better investment. Time is a crucial factor so start at an early age, start small with secured investment first, then gain experience and opt for mutual funds (equity supplemented by debt portfolio schemes)which will help you understand the market conditions. Finally try to invest in direct Stock market if you are willing to take risk and earn more returns. Remember that one of the golden rules for smart investment is that it involves “Speculation instead of Gambling”.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

One Life: Live, love & Value it!! - Earlitha M Sangma, Assistant professor, Department of Education

Life as we know it is a journey. Every day we are faced with something new and exciting. But sometimes we tend to ignore this and that is when we find our life dull and monotonous. All human beings are gifted with a unique set of life which everyone has to cherish and respect. The writer here talks about how precious each of our life is and how challenges and hurdles in life can mould and lead us for the greatest moments of our lives. 

One Life: Live, love & Value it!!

Life is not about merely knowing that your heart beats; nor it is about knowing how your heart pumps blood into your body; Life is much more than that. It is a proof of self existence which is inestimable. Life is the most precious gift ever. Many a time we take our life for granted and we end up treating life as a cheap commodity; and this happens because we do not value life. Learn valuing it!

Every aspect of our life has values. In fact, values permeated the whole of human beings and are a major factor in deciding what sort of human being we are.  As humans we assign a lot of values to too many things, but we should never forget that life should remain the most valuable thing that we have. Valuing your life keeps you at best which helps you lead a good and a purposeful life. Do not take life for granted, for you do not know what lies ahead. Life presents us with many challenges but it doesn’t mean that our value towards life should fade away. Hardest times often lead us to the greatest moments of our lives. To taste success, you are always faced with temporary defeat.  You may not be able to change the situation that caused your stress, but you can change your reaction towards the problem or the cause.

Each individual has its own perspective on how they want their life to be and how they want to live. Therefore it is important that we know how we should live our life. There is no human being who has faced only one phase of life. In fact, most of us have experienced struggles, failures and sufferings apart from the moments of joy, pleasure and success. We do experience many hard times coming along   our way. But it does not mean that they will remain forever. Problems and difficulties in life are opportunities in disguise. Difficulties test the courage, patience, perseverance and true character of a human being. We are all exposed to life, and likewise both good and bad things happen to all of us. However, our ability to successfully work through these things will determine the quality of the lives we live. So what would you prefer? Making life exciting, adventurous and cheerful or to lead a dull, boring and meaningless life. The decision and choice is yours. Remember that going over your regrets will not change what has happened; it will only bother your present happiness. It’s best to amend and try to learn from your past mistakes or failures; and instead of contemplating upon it, devote your energy to create a life that you love. Learn to live your live regardless of circumstances.

Life is a blender of emotions, a composite of glee, bliss, ecstasy, beatitude, blessedness, and delectation; as well as, depression, gloomy, misery, pain and sorrow. All we need to do is, give life a chance. Never take spineless decisions to wrap things up for you may remorse later.  Time is a master player and it fixes and permutes situations in its own time. Life is ultimately what you make of it and therefore we must learn to enjoy life in its simplicity with the natural beauty and emotions.

One of the biggest assets in life is love. However to love your life you need to appreciate the little things that makes you happy in life instead of dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. Life is very fragile and hence when we wake up every day, we must learn to make it the best day possible.. It is important that you love your life and this will generally make you happy. In order to start loving your life, make a conscious effort to think more positively in day to day life situations. We should always take a note of it that we may not be able to change the situation or the problem but one thing we can do is to change our reaction towards it. Rather than concentrating on the comparisons with all your perceived faults, try reminding oneself of all your good qualities, success and achievements you may or you have accomplished and learn to appreciate the unique you. Learn to love and care for yourself for who you are and where you’re at. This is the most important thing in living a happy life. Remember how wonderful you are and all of the things that you can or have accomplished.

Life is the gift from God and it is too precious to be taken for granted. Each one of us is created with a unique identity and with a purpose in life. Life is a continuous journey and you can achieve more in life by adoring it. Therefore, live your life with love for love is a wonderful feeling which leaves you cheerful and lively. Love the life you live and live the life you love, for it is all you need to understand how valuable your life is.

Therefore, I would like to conclude by saying- Live, Love, and value your life for you’ve got one life to live. Make it worth!

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

English Curriculum under Nagaland University: Debatable? - Arenkala Kichu, Assistant Professor, Department of English

Is our English curriculum under Nagaland University effective enough to raise the proficiency level of the learners? English courses offered as a subject is often open to discussion. The writer here talks about how English in our curriculum is limited only to a certain field of study and suggests on learning English as a language and not only as a subject.

English Curriculum under Nagaland University: Debatable?

A majority of us think that “ENGLISH” is a study of only literature since literature has only been the area that has been focused on. Whereas, linguistics and ELE (English Language Education) have never been focused or even given importance. Linguistics, which is a scientific study of language focuses on; Phonetics, phonology, semantics, morphology, generative grammar, syntax, socio-linguistics, computational linguistics and many more. English Language Education seeks to develop learners’ proficiency level in English for study, work and leisure/real life communication by providing enough activities and opportunities enabling them to use the language fluently and accurately.

One of the main aims of studying literature is to learn the English language as well as to know the English culture and tradition. But the question is, is the language really learnt? Is the content of the syllabus really in line with the objective of a course/subject? Tracing back to the history of using English in Nagaland, it has been almost 150 years but many Naga research scholars have commented in their findings that the learners’ proficiency level of the English language is still much to be desired. Of course there are some exceptional cases taking into consideration the family background but the rest should take a large amount of time and effort to improve.

Now, the query lies in how the curriculum has been carried out over the years. When we talk about curriculum, a syllabus is one of the main weapons to acquire the targeted objectives of a course. However, in order to carry out the contents of a course/subject, teachers play a vital role because they translate the contents to the learners by using appropriate materials to fulfill the objectives. So, are teachers really equipped with the required skills? Are they from the right background? An example to make the scenario clearer, to teach linguistics, are the teachers from the linguistic background? The same may follow with language skills/Functional English/communicative English/English for Specific Purposes where teachers from the English Language Education (ELE)/English Language Teaching background are the most appropriate teachers to fulfill its every objective.

As a person from linguistics and ELE background, I was always rejected when sought for a platform where I can frame a curriculum which focuses more on ‘English language learning’ by providing appropriate opportunities and activities to the learners rather than a structural-theoretical oriented syllabus. While I am still seeking for the Platform, it is the need of the hour to introduce subjects like communicative English and Functional English for across departments which would serve as a firm foundation of the integrated skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) to the learners and I believe that this would enable the Naga learners to listen, speak, read and write a little better and raise our proficiency level.

Given some thought and effort, the prevalence of this inadequacy could be due to the lack of a well-planned curriculum where appropriate instruction should be laid out for the teachers to follow certain approaches and methods, strategies, materials and assessment procedures in relation to the subject/course. It is also observed that the syllabi in Nagaland do not have any information about teaching-learning, materials, methods, strategies and assessment procedures. We can clearly conclude that we do not have a strong curriculum which prevents teachers to provide a proactive contribution to raise the bar of performance and productivity in a creative way.

It must also be understood that the negative educational outcomes cannot be attributed to failure in just one aspect. The relationship between a teacher and a student is largely responsible in the management of the learning environment. It is also important to change the mode of classroom interaction since it is noticed that less opportunity is given to the students and the approach is still very traditional (Lecture Method). Hence, effective measures should be taken to renew and redefine the curriculum.

When it comes to learning a second language/ third language/Foreign Language/, it is first the mastery of the sound system, and secondly, it is the mastery of the features of arrangement that constitute the structure of a language. Therefore, foundational courses should be introduced to get more familiar with the sounds so as to improve the learners’ pronunciation and reduce the level of mother tongue influence over the language. In Nagaland, English is taught as a subject and not as a language. Students’ exposure to the language is very limited as they speak their mother tongue or Nagamese at home as well as often inside the classroom. Students get very less reinforcement outside the college/school and were found taking private English tuitions. This inadequacy is unexpected at the undergraduate level since a majority of the students start learning English from a very young age.

Of course language teaching and learning have succeeded but only to a certain extent and half-baked knowledge of the English language could be one of the reasons that hamper higher development of the educated people. In my opinion, for a majority of the Naga learners, right from the day they start schooling, the language at home is different from the language in school. However, we can deduce from this that the areas of language development in the two languages will vary as they are separately used. Thus, what must be remedied here is that we should make conscious effort to activate processes with a well-planned curriculum (with a pot pourri of literature, linguistics and ELE) to shift the current status of ENGLISH CURRICULUM into a CRATED English department. 

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please

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