Restore the sanctity of Teachers’ Day

The sanctity of Teachers’ Day on September 5 is being maintained neither by the government nor by the teachers. Teachers have some genuine grievance against the ineffective role of the state in education and their service conditions, but protests, demonstrations and dharnas leading to scuffles with police provide no solution. Can’t frustration and anger be expressed on some other day?

Very often, the trouble arises when the government unnecessarily comes up to arrange a state-level function to impress upon us its concern and respect for teachers. Apparently, the big bosses take pride in personally handing over to teachers awards conferred upon them by the state.

The occasion provides an opportunity to disgruntled teachers to expose the government’s failures. The award-giving ceremony can be made a simple and joyful affair. Let the awards be sent to the institutions concerned and the awardees’ names published in the newspapers. Let the schools and colleges along with the local public honour their teachers the way they consider most appropriate.

We celebrate our festivals with fervour and solemnity. Can’t the celebration of Teachers’ Day be left to individual educational institutions, teachers’ associations and public organisations wedded to the cause of education and teachers?

A serious thought needs to be given to educational planning and financing, removal of administrative bottlenecks, improvement of teacher education, overhauling of curricular offerings at all stages of education, awfully unsatisfactory conditions in rural schools and check on irregularities committed in the selection, posting and transfers of teachers.

P. S. CHANANA, Chandigarh


Improving schools

V.K. Kuriakose’s letter about the need to first improve present schools are very relevant today as the Punjab Government is keen on tying up with top business houses (Aug 25). Being an educationist, I also feel that the Badal government should improve the existing schools and free them from the corrupt hands of the education department, before making another experiment.

Whenever there is a change in the government, lot of development and facilities are provided to big cities and towns like Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar ignoring remote areas like ours from development. Consider Sardulgarh, a small town in Mansa district. Though there are two senior secondary schools here, the Principal’s post has been lying vacant for past many years.

Often senior teachers/lecturers officiate in the post. Once these schools were considered as Sardulgarh’s lifeline. Now it is losing its old glory as there is no principal to control the school.

There may be many schools in Punjab with similar situation. The new government should take the initiative in solving such problems. Similarly, the government should provide facilities like 24-hour electricity and potable water to schools.

CHARLES ABRAHAM, Principal, Meera Public School, Sardulgarh (Mansa)

Reroute buses

Nandaunta constituency in Hamirpur district is an upcoming area. So are Shah Talai, Bhathin and Baghed areas of Bilaspur district. A lot of youth of these areas are employed in armed forces, central police forces etc.

Moreover, this region is known for its hardworking farmers. All of them need urgently long route buses to Shimla, Chamba, Pathankot, Dharamsala, etc. Currently, buses run via Hamirpur, Bhota Ghamarwin etc. Ideally some of long route buses between Pathankot, Dharamsala and Shimla (day and night buses) should be routed via Naduan, Dhaneta, Barsar and Talai. This route is nearly 28 km short as compared to the Hamirpur Bhota axis.

K. L. NOATAY, Mehre (HP)


Kanda jail inmates’ woes

The Model Central Jail at Kanda, established in 1999, is about 2 km away from Ghanahatti near Shimla. It has about 446 prisoners, including women. Though the jail is considered best from the security point of view with a boundary wall of 25-ft height spread over 2 km, it lacks many basic things.

About 24 per cent of its inmates are undertrials. In many cases, their trial has not yet commenced. Many of them have spent years equivalent to the sentence of their crimes, if they would have not been convicted.

Though the law presumes them innocent until convicted, they are still behind bars due to financial constraints of their families. Despite the directions given by the Supreme Court, no step has been taken to release them. For how long should they languish in the jail?

The children of women prisoners are facing an uncertain future. The strength of the jail staff, especially the guarding staff, is much below the actual requirement. A few days earlier, there were 27 constables for taking the prisoners to hospitals, courts, etc. However, now there are just three cops, the rest having been withdrawn. The women prisoners are unable to earn.




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