Saturday, October 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Why appoint untrained school lecturers?

All school teachers should be trained and have a thorough knowledge of child psychology. But it is observed that at the school stage in Himachal Pradesh even the persons having barely an MA/M.Sc degree are selected and posted as lecturers. They do not understand the emotional aspects of a child’s development and as such they are not able to communicate well with children according to their needs and capacities.

Professional training and sound academic attainments are essential for the teachers. The school curriculum is determined by the needs of the pupils so that they may adjust and adapt themselves with their physical and social environment. The problems arising out of the environment present a challenge to the teachers. They can be successful only if they can understand the psychology of children.

The lecturers selected should also have good academic worth. Only such persons as are getting more than 50 per cent marks in MA/M.Sc. should be selected for the job of lecturer.

I would like that the Himachal Government should follow the policy as spelt out in CBSE rules. No untrained person should be recruited as a lecturer in the school cadre. This will improve the standard of education and administrative control in the schools also.

K.C. SHARMA, Principal, Army School, Unchibassi


Engineering shops

In the recent past, a number of engineering colleges and institutions have mushroomed in the country. It seems the AICTE is granting its approval without verifying the minimum basic requirements. But to speak of equipment, infrastructure etc, required for engineering education, these colleges have not even constructed the proper class rooms for the students.

Further, these colleges have fixed their own fee structure, which is excessively high and variable in different states. For example, the cost of free seats in Haryana is Rs 10,500 as compared to Punjab, where it is Rs 30,000, besides various sundry funds. This is the reason a number of free as well as paid seats are lying vacant in most of the colleges e.g. in Karnatka 6500 seats are still vacant and in Haryana, third time counselling is going on. Other states are attracting the students by discounting the fee. But the students have perhaps opted to stay away due to the high fee structure and fear of engineering unemployment in the coming days.

One can thus very well judge the lowering standard of engineering education in the country. The AICTE government must immediately review the engineering education policy before granting approval to new colleges. The fee structure must immediately be brought at par.”


English studies

This refers to the news-item, “Change teaching of English to Indian perspective: seminar” Ms Alison J. Sriparam, First Secretary, British Council Division, is right that English is the language which could be effectively learnt only through its constant use in speaking and writing. English has a very intricate structure that often comes in the way during class-room teaching. For a number of times it creates problems both for the teacher and the taught because it is a language which is not spoken the way it is written and written the way it is spoken.

There is a considerable number of words in the vocabulary of English the spellings of which have nothing to do with the pronunciation or otherwise. I have been teaching this language for the last 15 years to graduation and postgraduation students. During these years I have learnt that phoneticism is the area that creates problems for the learners of this language. Some enthusiastic persons do come in support of the unharmonious relationship between spellings and pronunciation saying that the very beauty of the language lies in this aspect of the English language. You cannot always go by rules alone. It is more through practice that you master this language.

The students with poor schooling are a confused lot when it comes to the study of American literature, particularly at the +2 and graduation level. They are not of the level to understand as to why U is missing from the words such as colour, honour, labour etc and UE from dialogue, monologue and me from programme.


Humour is health

This refers to Mr R.C. Sharma’s write-up “Humour is the salt of life”.

Humour is a very much desirable possession. It is the habit of mind that amuses by provoking laughter and reduces tension. Good-humoured people are generally ready-witted. They possess the faculty of perceiving the amusing.

A lot of “gard” (dust) flies about in the areas around Multan (Pakistan), when strong winds blow. Poet Zameer Jaafri thus humorously mentions what happened to him: “Gard ney Multan tak is tarah gardaana mujhey/Meri beevi ney bari mushkil sey paihchaana mujhey.”

Thackeray called humour “a mixture of love and wit”. Once Mirza Ghalib was sitting in a book shop. An Iranian youth asked for a collection of his verses saying “Een qurumsaaq khoob mey goyad” (This cuckold writes very good poetry). Mirza smiled at the witty banter and ejaculated: “Khuda ki qasam sachchi daad aaj hi mili hai” (By God, I have received honest praise only today).

One day, he visited a friend, Maulvi Fazl Haq. He greeted him with Khaaliq Baari’s verse “Baya biraadar, aao rey bhai” (Come brother, come brother). All of a sudden Maulvi’s concubine showed up. Ghalib asked him to complete the couplet by reciting the second line “Ba-nasheen maadar, baith ree mai” (Be seated mother, be seated mother). Those present there burst into laughter.

“Humour oils the creaking wheel of life”. Petulance is unknown to good-humoured people. They generally remain jovial, as if they are born under the sign of Jupiter and try to keep others also in a good mood.

Humour nourishes the heart. Peevishness corrodes it. The utterances of good-humoured people are interspersed with sallies of wit. They enjoy tranquility of mind. The ill-humoured ones give way to ill-temper even at trifles. They suffer from sadness and depression of spirits. Humour is health. Peevishness is disease. Faani Badauni rightly said: “Zindagi zinda-dili ka naam hai/Murda-dil kya khaak jiya kartey hain.”


Deaths in custody

The USA has perhaps 10 times more people in custody than India at a given time, yet rarely is a custodial death reported. Criminals are provided counsel at the state expense, healthy food is given three times a day, good enough to make many of them boxers and medical care is provided to all in need.

In India four people die everyday in police custody, as reported in Indian papers recently. In India, where the police, like the rich, is above the law, being arrested means likely death if the allegations are terrorist in nature.

HARBIR SINGH, Plainsboro (New Jersey)

Plantation firms

SEBI has asked the police to file FIRs against plantation companies and officials concerned for a criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy. Most of the companies were operating from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. SEBI has a list of 500 such companies and 45 were from the City Beautiful, a city of educated people.

According to an estimate, these companies have collected Rs 1,300 crore from investors. Golden Forests had collected a huge amount and the total business is under cloud. The whereabouts of 40 companies are not known. SEBI has also asked the Department of Companies Affairs (DCA) to file FIRs. The people still have hope that the market regulators would fight unitedly for the safe refund of their money. The Registrar of Company Affairs, Jalandhar, is also responsible for not taking timely action.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh

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