The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter Twenty-seven. Return to Nagaland
caption: problems of literacy and education; numbers of schools
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: Closely linked with the prospects for economic development is the problem of education. In this field enormous progress has been (254) made, and Nagaland, with a literacy rate of 27 per cent. has nearly reached the all-India average of 29 per cent. While at the end of British rule there was only one high school in the Naga Hills there are now 3 colleges, 31 high schools, 144 middle schools, and 800 primary schools in Nagaland. In the Konyak region there were in the 1930s no schools, and the percentage of literates was hence nil. Today most children have the possibility of attending primary schools and nearly everywhere there are some young people who can read and write, even though the linguistic diversity poses great problems. Konyaks speak a Tibeto-Burman tonal language, but dialects vary from village to village and there exists as yet no written standard Konyak. In primary schools Naga-Assamese, the lingua franca of Nagaland, is used, but English, the official language of the new State, is the medium of instruction in all higher education.