The status of teacher today

This has reference to the article “Education: time for overhaul” by Prof K.N. Pathak carried in The Tribune supplement (September 24) brought out to mark its 125th anniversary celebrations.  The article says, “Make the teachers responsible and accountable to the authorities as well as to the students they teach”.  Very true. 

In the university system, teachers, students and non-teaching personnel (administration) are the human components.  These three components have their own importance.  In the system of university administration, if there is anything central, it is the relationship between the teacher and the student. 

The National Policy on Education, 1986 document I (part IX), states that the “status of the teachers reflects the socio-cultural ethos of a society; no people can rise above this level of its teachers.” The teacher is the key to educational reconstruction.  He is the maker of men (i.e. taught) and the maker of the nation.

Therefore, it is important for us to understand in today’s perspective what teaching amounts to.  Is teaching merely a work or a vocation?  Or is it a mission? 

The apex court in the case Ms A. Sundrambal vs State of Goa had held: “We are of the view that the teachers employed by educational institutions, whether the same institutions are imparting primary, secondary, graduate or postgraduate education, cannot be called as workmen.  Imparting education, which is the main function of teachers, cannot be considered as skilled or unskilled manual work or supervisory work or technical work or clerical work.” A teacher is, therefore, not a workman.

OM PARKASH WADHAWA, Government College, Gohana



The Tribune’s supplement,  is an invaluable document. It will be much better if it is published in the form of a book.  In his article, “Fighting corruption: moral values must prevail”, N. Vittal has thoroughly discussed the genesis of corruption in India and the possible remedies. I agree with his optimism.

India has no dearth of hard-working and honest intellectuals and professionals. This is evident from the fact that a number of engineers and doctors leave the country every year to work abroad. 

Many people from the UK and other countries have started enjoying much cheaper and reliable Indian health care in Mumbai, Hyderabad,  Bangalore, etc.

Dr S. S. PARMAR, Amritsar

Soldiers’ plight

This is in response to your editorial “PoWs’ kin demand special cell in MEA” (Sept. 30). During the 1971 war, the Indian Army had captured over 90,000 Pakistani PoWs.  Indira Gandhi committed a blunder when she let them go without making  sure that there was no Indian soldier held by Pakistan.

For strange reasons, Pakistan never reciprocated, India’s gesture and instead imprisoned, abused and tortured our 54 soldiers. This hideous act of Pakistan not only makes a mockery of the terms of the Geneva Convention but also beats all acts of barbarism and cruelty humanity has suffered in modern times.

In February this year, I wrote a letter to President Musharraf, pleading  for their release. Many of my friends also did the same. He didn’t respond. I am sure the soldiers’ families  too must have made a similar appeal.It is possible that most of them have died or got killed by now.

Subhash C Chaudhry, Indianapolis, USA



Varsities’ credibility

VIP toppers — doubts over universities’ credentials” (Sept 29).  The credibility of our education system is declining fast due to frequent political and bureaucratic interference and the appointment of incompetent, corrupt and undeserving persons as Vice-Chancellors under political pressure or on other compulsions like caste considerations, as has recently been seen in the appointment of Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University.

The meeting of the Search Committee had to be postponed five times due to a clash among the Governor’s nominee and other members for accommodating the candidates sponsored by the Governor/Chancellor or the Chief Minister.  Finally the Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, succeeded in ensuring the appointment of one of his relations, Dr R.P. Hooda, from his village belt.  Immediately after taking over as Chief Minister Mr Hooda had removed the Vice-Chancellors of the universities in Haryana appointed by the previous government barring Dr R.S. Dhankar of M.D. University, Rohtak, because of being a Jat. 

The standard and quality of research can be assessed from the figure of allowing the registration of over 100 candidates for Ph.D. at Kurukshetra in only one subject — Hindi — in one single meeting of the Department Research Committee with only seven-eight teachers in the department and a single lady professor guiding the research of around 25 scholars. The most glaring instance of immorality is that of the Vice-Chancerllor, Dr Maha Singh, IAS, awarding a Ph.D. degree in economics to himself, ensuring the completion of rituals of getting the thesis written from the supervisor with the help of two other teachers.

Prof P.K. DAS (retd), Hisar



Army and golf

This refers to the article “Trapped in the bunker” by Maj-Gen Jatinder Singh (retd) on September 30.

Instead of playing officer-like games like tennis and golf, senior officers should keep playing hard games like football and hockey vigorously even after age 40 years, though the jawans retire around this age.  Heart attack is the easiest and royal way to die in harness.

Or, instead of rushing to the golf course after lunch, senior officers should go for the afternoon siesta (charpoy-bashing in Army parlance).  They remain beefy and healthy. Instead of landscaping, beautifying and making golf courses in the mandatory open spaces around the married and OTM accommodation, this land should be used for artillery firing and explosives training.  Destruction of a few houses and the loss of a few lives hardly constitute any price for worthwhile training. 

Lt-Col DALJIT SINGH GURM (retd), Ludhiana


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