How best to improve education

Apropos of the book review “Educating teachers” (Feb 15), the author and the reviewer have raised pertinent issues regarding quality of education. The role of the teachers is central to the quality education system. It may be due to teachers’ financial standing or social apathy that has led to utter lack of dedication, accountability, pride in profession and care for students’ interests and satisfaction in them

The tuition culture and the urge to earn by private consultancy or a side business has totally diverted the teachers’ focus from their sacred profession. Assessment of teachers by students may prove to be a retrograde step and curb the initiative of the teachers. Our cultural ethos is totally different from the western world.

The second reason affecting the quality of education is near non-existence of quality management system in educational institutions. With changing patterns of education delivery resulting from the advent of modern technology, the concept of quality management has to be an inherent component of the education process for its success.

A quality education institute requires management commitment, mission, relevant objectives, adequate infrastructure and resources. Competent faculty, planned syllabi coverage, control in delivery, student feedback, monitoring the whole system and continual improvement in the value-added teaching are some of the other basic requirements of such an institute. Sadly, there is no institute or system for training the senior faculty and management personnel of the institutes for planning, implementation and control of all aspects of management of a quality education institute. The earlier this aspect is focussed upon, the better.

Lt-Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali



A welcome hug with a deep breath 

THE two articles “Adamantly yours” by Akanksha Bhalla and “Women are suckers for punishment” by Aradhika Sekhon (Spectrum, Feb 8) are apt, truthful and hard-hitting. Man is over-possessive because he always feels insecure and the same insecurity makes a woman go overboard to look after the man well and keep him in good humour.

This looking after includes a long, caring and scrutinising look on his coat collar and shoulders for that long hair which proves her worse fears having come true and then a welcome hug with a deep breath to feel and check for that feminine deodorant or smell of a different shampoo. The family life goes on like this.

We have problems, insecurities, desire for being cared and loved and looked after in pain and disease. And we are all the time balancing our lives, either receiving or giving, either asking for or responding to the other person’s needs.

The husband-wife relationship is one such tie-up where sharing between two otherwise strangers-somehow-come-together is far more than that they individually have with any of their siblings. Closer they come, greater are the chances of those chinks in the armour coming to light.

The lady writers seem to have had the glimpses of reality and, I am sure, the praises they have kept cornered in their hearts and the contempt is before us to read in print.




Tip of the iceberg

The article “Quota politics: Diluting the concept of creamy layer” (Perspective, Feb 8) by Dr V. Eshwar Anand and letters on this theme (Feb 15 and 22) are only a tip of the iceberg. The issue is, as everyone knows, one of the biggest problems of the country. Politicians are too shortsighted, their only concern being preservation of their own vote banks and seats by hook or by crook.

No country can progress in such an atmosphere where merit is sacrificed. How can one justify the selection of a third-class SC/ST candidate on the basis of reservation over a first-division Brahmin? But who bothers for the country?


Novel adventure

I appreciate Ms Aditi Tandon’s article “Novel adventure” (Feb 7) letting us know the wonderful achievements of the 16-year-old Kriti Puri who is bringing laurels for herself for fiction writing, skating and classical dance. Congratulations, Kriti. Work hard to reach higher levels of excellence. You are specially gifted by God! Develop your hidden talents to the maximum. Remember the saying, “There is more gold in a mind than in a mine.”

I also thank Ms Aditi Tandon for her article “Romancing the Stone” (Feb 6) enriching our minds once again with the artistic excellence of sculptor Ratna Bhavasar. Congratulations, Ratna! We are proud of Ratna who could be a good model for children. Aditi’s write-ups on the achievements of Parveen Sultana, the famous vocalist and Padma Bhushan Pt. Chaudhuri, the sitar maestro (Oct 19 and 20) are also noteworthy.

Fr THOMAS K.J., President, Roshni, Rajpura


The article “She is sixteen” (Windows, Feb 7) was good. It’s amazing to know a child so bubbling with ambition and intellect to have written a whole novel besides excelling in curricular, extra-curricular and sports activities. I have been absolutely baffled and mesmerised by her success and I wish Kriti all the very best in her endeavours. Kriti has been a great source of inspiration for all school-going kids and to adults, as well. It’s great to see another gun in the tinsel garden of the City Beautiful. “Hats off to you, Kriti!”


Dowry menace

Apropos of Prakirti Gupta’s article “Kashmir: Worst is not over” (Spectrum, Feb 8), this evil has increased in not just Kashmir but everywhere. Undoubtedly, the inability of men to cope with the pressures of insurgency, behaviour aberrations caused due to migration, consumerism and disruption in education of women are some of the major factors giving rise to this menace. It is also the lack of conducive environment in the courts that prohibit women from coming forward against such social evils.

The evil of dowry should be rooted out. Here are a few suggestions: One, the state government must enforce the Dowry Prohibition Act (DPA). Second, girls like Nisha Sharma (Noida) should come forward to revolt against dowry seekers. Three, marriages in the courts should be encouraged. And finally, all boys and girls should take an oath not to seek or give dowry. Only then, this evil can be cured.


Punctuation & pause

While reading Mr Khushwant Singh’s piece on the "The importance of punctuating thought" (Windows, Feb 21), I was reminded of a Punjabi joke doing rounds in Chandigarh after the Burail jailbreak.

A senior police officer told his junior officer regarding a criminal on the run — “Roko, mat jane doo”. But his junior did not pause after the word “Roko” and understood it differently — “Roko mat jane doo”. This shows how the junior, due to his poor knowledge, changed the very meaning of the officer’s instructions and acted differently.n

Dr U.S. BANSAL, Chandigarh

Sonia’s origin

Apropos of the interview “Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin a non-issue: Ashwani Kumar” (Perspective, Feb 15), by closing one’s eyes, like the foolish bird, the issue will not vanish. If a referendum was to be held on the issue today, a large majority of Indians would want to be governed by an Indian and not an outsider. More so, when Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s competence is also in doubt. In any case, we had had enough of foreign rules. The 100-year-old Congress party would do well to remember this. It can ignore the sentiments of the Indians at its own peril.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Death for rapists

There is no authentic information on the deterrent effect of capital punishment on one-time or habitual criminals. Indeed, rape is a heinous crime and the legislature has provided for rigorous punishment varying from seven years to life imprisonment. In case the victim is done to death by the perpetrator, he can be punished with death for murder.

The protagonists of capital punishment in rape cases should first justify why rape is committed and then support their case on legal jurisprudence if there is a demand for amendment in the penal law for awarding capital punishment for the rapist. The legislature does not act on popular demands and the legislators should be cautious while dealing with sensitive issues. The amendment in penal law providing for capital punishment may appeal to the general public. But if it is done without reasoning and only on the public demand then there may be demand for many other offences to be punished as in the Dark Age.

Most rape cases are false and are registered by the prosecution on pressure from the girl’s parents or for reasons like monetary gain or rivalry, though it may be a consented act or, at times, even a clandestine love affair. This is why the conviction rate in rape cases is very low. Once the case is on trial in the court, these facts come to light resulting in the acquittal of the accused by the judge, who is bound by the law. But the crusade for the amendment providing death sentence and against low conviction rate may bring all agencies responsible for maintenance of law and dispensation of justice under pressure resulting in the conviction of innocent persons.

Therefore, any amendment in the penal law drafted by great minds of the time after a thorough study of the subject which has stood the test of time and is followed more or less throughout the world with minor variations, should not be done because there is such demand from feminine zealots.

ARVIND KASHYAP, Advocate, Ropar

Look who is watching

A good aesthetic and healthy smile not only adds to your face value but also builds up your confidence. An esthetic and confident simple includes a proper relationship between the placement and alignment of teeth, the gingiva (soft coral pink tissue adjoining the teeth.) and other preioral tissues like lips.

Colour, contour and placement of gingiva is a very important parameter to add to a beautiful smile. During smiling the most prominent teeth which are visible are the upper and lower anterior teeth and the adjoining gingiva. Any discrepancy in the natural aesthetics and anatomy which can be due to discoloration, fracture, natural wear and tear or caries requires full rehabilitation procedure to keep the smile intact.

Thus, anterior fixed prostheses laminates, veneers and crowns combined with periodontal procedures has become one of the widely used methods for obtaining beautiful smile in indicated cases.

So remember that cosmetic dentistry can improve your appearance and change your life through enhanced self-esteem. However, it is equally important for you to maintain your new smile and take proper care of your teeth. Good oral hygiene through proper brushing and flossing, healthy food habits and most importantly regular visits to your dentist are a must to ensure that your smile lasts for a lifetime.

Dr VIKRAM S. ATTWAL, Chandigarh

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