L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Perverts masquerading as teachers

The Tamil Nadu government’s order to dismiss or compulsorily retire teachers of government and govt-aided schools found guilty of sexually abusing children is a welcome step. The order should be extended to all private schools as well and replicated in all states across India. 

Innocent children in schools are an easy prey to some lusty beasts and sexual maniacs masquerading as teachers.  Parents admit their children to schools fully trusting the teachers to play a significant role in shaping the future of their wards.  But children as victims of molestation are scarred for life by offending teachers.

Children are not able to differentiate between a friendly touch arising out of affection and an act of molestation.  Since teaching is regarded as a noble profession and the teachers are highly respected in society, they are believed to be above abominable acts. 

Thus, many instances of molestation go unsuspected, unnoticed and unreported while the perpetrators of sexual abuse continue to enjoy a respectable career in schools. 

Fear of dismissal and exemplary punitive action with several years of rigorous imprisonment will force the teachers to regulate their behaviour and stay civilized. Any crime against children, particularly sexual abuse, should have more severe punishment than that meted out for other crimes. Psychological counselling of teachers should be done before they join schools and come in contact with children. By committing the crime and after being found guilty, they don’t remain teachers.  Teachers with psychological problems and criminal tendencies are the greatest threat to the children and the society at large.  The children should also be sensitised and alerted about the dangers that lurk around them through appropriate inputs and education.  The schools, both government and private, should be made safe for children. Parents, teachers and the government – all have a responsibility to deliver.


Exam reforms

It is not unrealistic to talk of an examination in which no one fails (news report “Govt to review no exam, no detention clause”, June 7). All that Delhi’s reformers have decided to do is not to mark ‘fail’ against the name of a candidate. Instead, they would let him, his prospective employer or other agencies concerned, scrutinise the grade card and see for themselves whether his performance is satisfactory.  Within institutions, there is need for a careful study of the psychological impact on the young of competition and flunking.

We may have to delink external examination from the institutional work of schools and colleges. Some harm has been done by the rhetoric of the Radha Krishanan Commission and the Kothari Commission, insisting that if they were to suggest a single reform in education, it would be of examination.

However, viewing examination reform as the central issue in higher education, quality of teaching should be the main thrust area. High quality of teaching does not depend for its effectiveness on the pressure of examination. Ways of improving the quality of teaching and learning should be laid stress on rather than on examinations. 

Even the best of examinations can only test a student’s judgement, his memory and his powers of communication. It can not adequately test his creativity, sensitivity or leadership quality. And yet, these are qualities that a sound education is expected to promote and foster. When we launch our programme of examination reforms, we should be clear not to expect examinations to accomplish what they were never intended to. Of the undistinguished college record of a distinguished poet, the eventual comment was “The nightingale won no prizes at the poultry show”.


Passing the baton

The editorial “A daunting task” (June 2) rightly says that the new Army Chief General Bikram Singh has taken charge at a time when the Army has been making headlines. But in the Army, unlike in any other civil organisation, it is the leader whose writ runs down to the last man in the force. So with Gen Bikram Singh saying,” What has happened in the past has to be left behind”, let us see how things unfold — for the better or for  the worse.

The bitterness and distrust between the government and the Army should die a natural death. The Supreme Court’s role in handling Army’s sensitive issues in the episode of succession has been commendable.


Open loot called ‘toll tax’

From Kapurthala to Chandigarh, a total of Rs 176 is charged as toll tax at 4 different toll barriers. It is a sheer loot of commuters who are struggling with fuel price hike.

The number of vehicles has been increasing year after year, so the toll tax amount should also be decreased year after year. It would be in the fitness of things if the toll tax amount is in round figures. Haggling for the remaining amount in cash or in kind (toffees) instead of rupees results in acrimonius debate and unpleasantness, in addition to wastage of time and energy.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |