Improving standards in govt schools

I refer to the Punjab government’s decision to check the incidence of dropout and improve the standards in government schools. Teaching in these schools has stooped so much in small towns that these attract either the poor or those who cannot seek entry into public schools.

The Economic Survey puts the dropout rate at 48 per cent in government schools. This is because these schools have no trained teachers, infrastructure or other facilities. Consequently, government school students seem unable to compete with the privileged ones of convent schools for admission to professional colleges.

Better qualified teachers do not guarantee good results unless they transmit their knowledge to the pupils with sincerity. Once a school gets good results, the parents will be inclined to get their wards admitted in it. The illiterate parents from small villages also need counselling. As in Haryana, the semester system may be introduced.

Weekly or fortnightly surprise tests should be conducted and results announced quickly. Extensive use of audio-visual aids will make the subject interesting and more comprehensible. Supervisory staff should monitor teachers’ performance.

Proper coverage of the syllabi, to the satisfaction of the students, should be made mandatory for class teachers. Parent-teacher meetings will help monitor the students’ progress.


Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief


Not a rosy picture

This has reference to Justice Rajinder Sachar’s article “Courting economic disaster” (April 14). Owing to globalisation and WTO policies being pursued by the Indian government, there has been large-scale deterioration in the small and medium size business. At Chandigarh alone, more than 50 per cent small scale industries have collapsed.

Same is the case with agriculture. Only large scale business like building construction, automobile industry, shopping malls and similar ventures are prospering. People who borrow money from banks seem unable to repay the debt.

This has resulted in widespread unemployment, economic distress, increasing suicides, fraud and crime. Though India is projected as marching forward, the common man is unhappy. The government should open its economy to an extent that would not harm its own interests.


Develop Himachal roads

Himachal Pradesh is the land of gods and goddesses. Perhaps, in the absence of basic infrastructure and severe cold condition, these supernatural powers help keep the people alive. Of course, there is progress in some fields.

Road construction is a must since it is the lifeline of hilly areas. During a visit to Himachal, I was surprised to see the absence of main roads, leave alone link roads. Telephones, IT and radio system have made good progress but there are no roads. The Centre should help build roads under the Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojna. Let the planners visit interior hilly areas of any state for a practical view.

Roads would pave the way for development through tourism and setting up of small and medium scale industries, depending upon the climatic condition. Road construction in hilly areas is also strategically important from the defence point of view.


The vanishing tiger

In his article on “The vanishing tiger”, Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd) issued a timely warning about the tiger’s endangered status in India. The situation is not only precarious with the tiger but also the entire spectrum of flora and fauna in our forests. This natural resource is being overexploited by people who have had no stake in its creation.

The Tribune should continue to expose the serious neglect of our rich and precious wildlife so that our school and college students will take cognisance of the fast depleting natural heritage. This should awaken their passion to create a national movement to demand proper and strict protection for the national parks and reserve forests. A ‘Youth for the Tiger’ movement is long overdue.

MOHANPAL SIDHU, Former Chairman, Assam Valley Wildlife Society, Chandigarh

Abuse of parks

I refer to Dr B.N. Goswamy’s letter regarding the abuse of parks (April 6). It is indeed sad to see Chandigarh’s parks being used as garbage dumps and parking lots. Besides the parks, the community centres are liberally used and rented out for weddings etc. Deafening music goes beyond the 10 pm time limit. Garbage generated by the caterers and leftovers are strewn all around.

There is no responsible authority to whom one can complain and get relief. Parks are meant for walks, relaxation besides being the lungs of the city. They should not be turned into garbage dumps, car parks and a haven for squatters.


Craze for fashion

The craze for fashion has obsessed young students. They spend their time and money recklessly on fashion. They wish to look smart and handsome all the time. Many students have made fashion their studies they are very particular about the latest cut and wear of the day. The craze for fashion is not without problems. So young students must understand that their first duty is to concentrate on studies and to succeed their career.


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