EDUCATION TRIBUNE

When teachers fail
Roopinder Singh
SCHOOLS in many parts of the nation are closed because of cold weather conditions, and thousands of students have enjoyed an extended vacation. In Paraiya block of Gaya district in southern Bihar, some students who strayed into their government school were shocked to see their teachers making a bonfire of their Urdu, Sanskrit and Mathematics textbooks.

Students seek mentors
D. S. Cheema
“WHEN will India become a developed nation?” is a question often asked. There are no simple answers to this vital question. It is well known that the development of any nation is primarily determined by the quality of its human resources which are dependent on two major factors: education and health system.

Campus Notes
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
NSS camp inaugurated
A ten-day special camp of the NSS units of Guru Nanak Dev University was inaugurated by Dr A.K. Thukral, dean, students' welfare of the university, in connection with the National Youth Festival being organised by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs from January 12 to 16.

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When teachers fail
Roopinder Singh

SCHOOLS in many parts of the nation are closed because of cold weather conditions, and thousands of students have enjoyed an extended vacation. In Paraiya block of Gaya district in southern Bihar, some students who strayed into their government school were shocked to see their teachers making a bonfire of their Urdu, Sanskrit and Mathematics textbooks. The teachers’ deplorable action has landed them in a hot seat as the police registered a case and other authorities launched an investigation.

Our teachers shape us, and most students are very fortunate in that their teachers leave such an impact on them that they retain an idealised impression for a long time. However, what happens when teachers fail to live up to the standards expected of them?

What the teachers in Paraiya did was bad enough, but then there is this case of a Class II student in Korba (Chhatitisgarh) who was not able to answer her teacher’s question. The student was poked in the eye by the teacher as a result of which she lost her sight in her right eye. A case has been registered and the teacher is absconding.

Iftesham, a Class II student in Mominpur (West Bengal), died after she was slapped by her teacher. The school was a private one, as was the institution in which the student had lost her eyesight; so, it seems that such incidents happen in schools run by the government, as well as those privately managed.

While there is no doubt that these cases are aberrations, they do cast a slur on the profession. What is particularly distressing is that the number of such incidents in which teachers behave in a manner which is a travesty of all that they are supposed to stand for, is increasing and this is definitely a major cause of worry to the society at large and all those concerned with education in particular.

Children tend to idolise their teachers, who are role models for students. Which parent has not been corrected by their child who said: “But my teacher said...”? When teachers falter, students stumble. Their trust in their teacher takes a beating and this causes them acute distress.

Corporal punishmend is wrong. Psychiatrists maintain that corporal punishment can mar a child’s psyche and make him or her insecure and depressed. Childhood memories of beatings cast a shadow on relationships which the children forge as adults. Bullying and ragging are offshoots of corporal punishment and they can set off a viscous cycle of similar behaviour in successive generations of students.

Every time examples of such inhuman behaviour surface in the media, there is a knee-jerk reaction calling for more accountability among teachers, as well as strict action against the guilty. But we need to look beyond that.

First we need to understand what is it that drives some teachers to such extremes. While individual peccadilloes are, of course, an obvious answer, for people who actually cross the line and get physical with their wards, there are also other, deeper causes that need to be recognised.

Over the years, the position of the teacher has eroded in our society and while we pay lip-service to them as the people who have our future generations in their hands, we do precious little for them. Schoolteachers in general, and primary school teachers in particular, are among the lowest paid professional, contrasting starkly with the position in Germany where schoolteachers are paid very well.

It is no secret that over the years, school teaching in general has not attracted the best of talent. Overall, government teachers are better qualified than their counterparts in the private sector. They are better paid too. However, when it comes to performance, the fact that most of the parents want to send their children to private schools, even as they pay high fees, speaks for itself about the faith of the public in the quality of education imparted in government schools.

We need to recognise that government schools are still the only means of education for a vast majority of our population. Given that the teachers in the system are better qualified, it is obvious that more monitoring and better administration would make a significant difference. This is indeed so, and various institutions that stand out, do so because the staff is better motivated, administered and made accountable.

In an unusual case of holding oneself accountable, Meenakshikutty Amma, the principal of Model Residential School in Pynavu, Kerala, canned herself last year after a staff member reported money missing from her purse. The guilty students soon confessed. She refused to identify them or meet out any punishment to them, saying that they had been punished enough. While no one will expect a repeat of Amma’s action, it shows another way of dealing with difficult situations.

Teachers who cause bodily harm to students, or are callous enough to burn textbooks to keep themselves warm have no place in the school system. They must be given exemplary punishment that would serve as a deterrent.


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Students seek mentors
D. S. Cheema

“WHEN will India become a developed nation?” is a question often asked. There are no simple answers to this vital question. It is well known that the development of any nation is primarily determined by the quality of its human resources which are dependent on two major factors: education and health system. However, both are in a poor state in India.

The Education Commission (1964-66) had viewed that “the quality, competence and character of a teacher to be the most significant factors influencing the quality of education and its contribution to national development”. Since the teaching community has generally deteriorated in all the above areas, the education system is in a mess. The problem is that all these years we have been wanting to make the teacher a better teacher through the teacher education programme. In fact, if India is to find its rightful place in the world, the teacher must become a mentor. And now is the time to bring about this transformation.

There is a fundamental difference between the teacher and the mentor. According to Oxford Learners Dictionary of Current English (2000), a mentor is an experienced person who advises and helps somebody with less experience over a period of time. Mentoring may be in different areas like academics, career development and personal development. The subtle difference can be understood from what Oliver Goldsmith said, “People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.” A learner, especially in the earlier stages of learning, needs role models in mentors. Where a teacher is only trained to teach and gets experience after many years of teaching, a mentor is the one who possesses necessary knowledge and skills, is trained and is experienced.

Can one teach by just reading the books? Certainly not. Knowledge alone is not good enough. Wisdom, which is the result of of practice, stays. Limited knowledge in the hands of the inexperienced does more harm to the learner than good. Teaching is a unique privilege, as every one cannot teach. It has to be continuously supported by an experienced person who takes on the total responsibility of the learner. A mentor with an appropriate mix of teaching attitude and suitable experience can contribute a lot towards the making of the students than the existing teachers. Every educational institution must have some mentors to create a culture of mentoring.

Mentoring is not formal and does not have to remain within the limits of a structured system. It can go far beyond helping the students pass the examination. Mentoring is all about relationships. Quality relationship, which inspires hope in the pupil, is at the heart of this transformation. Such a relationship is the responsibility of both the mentor and the pupil and can be developed by complete understanding of the personality of the student. It helps the mentor to develop the learner’s self- esteem by letting him realize his full potential. The mentor must find the real problem of the pupil. Often the real problem gets overlooked as it is not well understood and addressed by those who suggest solutions. If the mentor is a good listener, he can develop a personal rapport by a correct and precise understanding of the student.

The gap between knowledge, skill and experience of the mentor and the learner is such that the student is in awe of the mentor. The former must make special efforts to reduce the gap by becoming more accessible and showing eagerness to share and help solve the problems of the learner. He must suggest, persuade, motivate, support but never dictate, direct and tell. He must be extremely sensitive to the different issues related with the student’s growth.

Mentors should be selected and trained very carefully to fit in the specific scope of the programme. They don’t come free and need to be provided with incentives and compensation. The mentoring experiences must be assessed and evaluated periodically to understand the measure of success of such experiences. A mentor gets good exposure in the realities of life and has an opportunity to relearn and develop new knowledge and skills, which may not be possible otherwise.

The current practice of mentoring is undergoing changes because of technology and is no more the guru-shishya holistic teaching of Krishna-Arjuna and Socrates-Plato. However, mentoring can change lives is obvious as David Clutterbuck , co- founder, European Mentoring Centre, says, “Mentoring is probably the most powerful development process, people can experience and when it works it develops two for the price of one.”

The present teaching system needs to be supplemented with appropriate mentoring. Sharing of knowledge and wisdom between the teacher and the mentor and their combined efforts can help the learner go a long way in improving the quality of human resources in India.


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Campus Notes
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
NSS camp inaugurated

A ten-day special camp of the NSS units of Guru Nanak Dev University was inaugurated by Dr A.K. Thukral, dean, students' welfare of the university, in connection with the National Youth Festival being organised by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs from January 12 to 16.

Dr Sukhpal Singh, programme coordinator (NSS), Dr Jaspal Singh, programme officer (NSS Unit No. II) and Dr Bimaldeep Singh, programme officer (NSS Unit No. I), were also present on this occasion. They also honoured Dr Thukral with a memento on this occasion. Around 100 NSS volunteers are participating in this camp.

In his inaugural address, Dr A.K. Thukral appreciated the activities of the NSS units and encouraged the students to participate in various social and cultural activities leading to their personality development. He said the state government had made elaborate arrangement for the festival in which more than 2,000 students from all states and union territories were participating.

Dr Jaspal Singh said during this ten-day camp, apart from the National Youth Festival programmes, various activities relating to environment protection, drug de-addiction, female foeticide, etc., would be carried out in view of the theme of "Healthy Youth for Healthy India".

Need to conserve wildlife stressed

Dr Pushpinder Kaur, former dean of life sciences and senior professor of zoology, has emphasised that the wildlife be conserved for the sustainable ecosystem and to initiate the environment-friendly programmes at the institutional level.

She was delivering the valedictory address of a three-week refresher course in environmental studies organised by the Academic Staff College (ASC) in collaboration with the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences of the university, in which 25 university and college teachers from Karnataka and within the state of Punjab participated.

While urging the need of such awareness and training programmes on environmental sciences, Dr Pushpinder Kaur advised the teacher-participants to spread the messages of renowned resource persons to educate the students, colleagues and public in general and initiate environment-friendly programmes at institutional levels.

Dr Renu Bhardwaj, course coordinator and professor in the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, while presenting the report said the basic aim of the course was to inspire the teacher-participants for the future challenges in environment with special reference to climate change.

More than 25 resource persons from various institutions shared their knowledge and experiences with the participants.

Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak
Academicians honoured

Dr H.J. Ghosh Roy, a senior faculty member of the Institute of Management Studies and Research (IMSAR) of Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), along with Dr Sanket Vij of B.P.S. Women's University, Khanpur (Sonepat), bagged the silver medal for their joint research paper presented in the 61st All-India Commerce Conference organised by the Indian Commerce Association at Dhanwate National College, Nagpur, recently.

Dr Roy and Dr Vij presented a joint paper on "Customer Relationship Management" (CRM). Their paper was titled "Role of e-CRM in Customer Value Creation: An Empirical Study of Perceived Level of e-CRM Services and Customer Satisfaction in Life Insurance Sector of India". Both these academicians were honoured with the "Best Business Academic of the Year Award-2008" during the conference.

— Contributed by P.K. Jaiswar and Bijendra Ahlawat


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Agriculture

Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Fisheries University Road, 7, Bungalows, Versova, Mumbai 400061 (Mah) (Deemed University ICAR)
www.cife.edu.in

Certificate (12 weeks) & Diploma (1 year) Courses:
1) Fisheries Enterprise Mgmt
2) Fisheries Development Mgmt
(at Kolkata Centre, 30, GN Block, Sector V, Salt Lake City, Kolkata 700091)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree with interest in Fisheries and Aquaculture
Application Form & Details
: Website.

Application Deadline: 25 January 2009

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Education Division, Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan II, Pusa, New Delhi 110012

All India Entrance Exam
For admission to UG Programmes: (in Agriculture / Horticulture / Fisheries Sc / Forestry / Home Sc / Sericulture / Agricultural Engg / Diary Tech / Food Sc / Agricultural Marketing / Banking & Co-operation / Commercial Agriculture & Business Mgmt / Biotechnology)

Eligibility: 10+2 (50%).
Age: 17-23 years (31 December 2009)

Exam: 19 April 2009

National Talent Scholarships: Rs 1000/-p m for all students admitted to any university (outside the domicile state) to promote agricultural education in the country.

Application Form: Send request with Rs 450/- by DD favouring "Deputy Director General (Education), ICAR", payable at New Delhi with unstamped, self-addressed envelope (30 cm x 25 cm) to the Controller of Examination (Education Division), at the above address, by 04 March 2009. Write your name and address on reverse of the DD.
Available at select Syndicate Bank Branches, ICAR Institutes, State Agricultural Universities till 07 March 2009 (At counter: Rs 400/- in cash).

Application Deadline: 10 March 2009

Armed Forces

Indian Navy, Po Box No 476, Gole Dak Khana, GPO, New Delhi 110001
www.nausena-bharati.nic.in

Sailors –Senior Secondary Recruits – 2/2009 Batch

Eligibility: Unmarried Indian males; 10+2 (with Maths & Physics)
DoB: 01 August 1988 – 31 July 1992.

Selection: Written Test; Physical Fitness Test; Medical Test.

Application Form: Download from website

Details: Employment News (03 - 09 January 2009) / Website.

Application Deadline: 23 January 2009

Engineering

Staff Selection Commission, Block No 12, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110504
www.ssc.nic.in

Junior Engineers (Civil & Electrical) Exam 2009

Eligibility: Diploma (Civil / Electrical / Electronics / Mechanical / Structural Engg) / BE (Civil / Electrical / Mechanical Engg) / Degree / Diploma in Civil and Rural Engg / BSc (Civil Engg)/ AMIE (Section A & B) (Civil / Mechanical / Electrical Engg) of the Institution of Engineers (India) / BE Electrical (Electronics / Power) / BE Electronics & Power Engg /.
Age: 18-27 years (on 30 January 2009)

Exam: 05 April 2009

Application Form & Details: Employment News (03 – 09 January 2009) / Website.

Application Deadline: 30 January 2009

University of Pune, VLSI Design & Research Centre, D/o Electronic Science, Pune 411007 (Mah)
www.icitonline.org

Certificate: (6 months, Full Time)
1) VLSI Design
2)
Embedded System Design

Eligibility: BE / BTech in (Electronics / Electrical / Electronics & Telecomm / Instrumentation / Computer / IT) / MSc (Electronics)

Selection: Entrance Test: 15 February ‘09

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Employment News (03 – 09 January 2009) / Website

Application Deadline: 13 February 2009

University of Pune, D/o Electronic Science, Ganeshkhind Road, Pune 411007 (Mah)
www.cadcamguru.com

1) Diploma in Computer Aided Product Design (1 year, FT)
2) Certificate: 3D CAD, CAM & CAE (6 months, Full Time)

Eligibility: BE (Mechanical / Production / Automobile).
Selection: Entrance Exam: 28 January 2009

Application Form: Download from website.

Details: Employment News (03 – 09 January 2009) / Website.

Application Deadline: 27 January 2009

ISIT-HQ, #65, Nagarjuna Hills, Punjagutta, Hyderabad 500082 (AP)
www.isitindia.org

MCA (3 years, FT)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree (50%)

Selection: IMCAT 2009: 03 May 2009 (48 centres)

Details: Website.

Languages

National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, West Block 8, Wing No 7, RK Puram, New Delhi 110066 (M/o HRD, GoI)
www.urducouncil.nic.in

Diploma Course in Urdu Language (Hindi / English medium); Distance, 1 year

Eligibility: Class 10, Knowledge of Hindi / English

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 28 February 2009

Law

CLAT 2009, NALSAR University of Law, 3-4-761, Barkatpura, Hyderabad 500027 (AP)
www.clat.ac.in

Common Law Admission Test 2009 (CLAT)
(For UG & PG Programs at 11 law schools(NLSIU, B’lore / NALSAR, Hy’bad / NLIU, Bhopal / WBNUJS, Kol / NLU, Jodhpur / HNLU, Raipur / GNLU, G’ngr / RMLNLU, Lknw / RGJNUL, Patiala / CNLU, Patna / NUALS, Kochi)

Eligibility: For UG Programs: 10+2 (50%)
Age: 20 years (On 01 July ’09)
For PG Programs (except for NLU, Jodhpur): LLB / BL (55%)

Test: 17 May ‘09

Application Form: Send Rs 2500/- by DD favouring "Convener, CLAT-2009 (NALSAR)" payable at Hyderabad to the above address / Also at designated Branches of SBI & Indian Bank / Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 10 April 2009

Directorate of Legal Studies, Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai 600104 (TN)

ML degree (1 year)
(In Govt Law College at Chennai, Madurai, Thiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Thirunelveli)

Application Form: Send Rs 100 by IPO favoring "Principal of the respective law college," payable at the respective law college with a stamped (Rs 25/-), self-addressed envelope to the principal of the respective law college.

Application Deadline: 23 January 2009

Mass Comm

National Book Trust India, Nehru Bhawan, 5, Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj, Phase II, New Delhi 110070
www.nbtindia.org.in

Training Course in Book Publishing (4 weeks)

Eligibility: Bachelors degree.

Selection: Interview.

Application Form: Send Rs 100/- by DD favouring "National Book Trust, India" payable at Delhi to the Chief Editor & Joint Director, at the above address / Download from the website.
Superscribe envelope "For Training Course in Book Publishing".

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 January 2009

Medicine

Institute of Clinical Research (India), A 201, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase I, New Delhi 110020
www.icriindia.com

1) PG Diploma in Clinical Data Mgmt (1 year, Part Time)

2) PG Diploma in Clinical Trial Mgmt (1 year, Part Time)

(at Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad & Ahmedabad campuses)

Eligibility:
For 1:
BSc / MSc in Life Sc (Microbiology / Genetics / Biotechnology / Zoology / Chemistry / Botany / Biochemistry) / BSc (IT / Statistics) / BPharm / MPharm / MBBS / BDS / BAMS / BHMS / Pharma & Clinical Research Professionals

For 2: MD / MS / MDS / MBBS / BDS

Application Form & Details: Website

Maulana Azad Medical College, Centre for Occupational & Environmental Health (COEH), Ground Floor, BL Teneja Block, New Delhi 110002

Associate Fellow of Industrial Health (3 months)
(PG Certificate in Industrial Health)

Eligibility: MBBS degree (MCI recognized)+ Internship; Permanent registration with State Medical Council / MCI and 1 year work experience in Industry / Occupational Health / 2 years in general practice.

Selection: Interview

Application Form: Available at the above address.

Details: Employment News (03 - 09 January 2009)

Application Deadline: 18 February 2009

Scholarships

Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Darshan Bhawan, 36 Tughlakabad Institutional Area, M B Road, New Delhi 110062
www.icpr.in

Senior Fellowships, General Fellowships, Junior Research Fellowships, Short-Duration Project and Residential Fellowships

Application Form: Send Rs 50/- by DD favoring "ICPR", payable at New Delhi to the Director (Academic) at the above address by 05 February 2009 / Download from website

Details & Application Form: Website

Application Deadline: 01 March 2009

Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology, VSSC Campus, ISRO Post, Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram 695022 (Ker) (D/o Space, GoI)
www.iist.ac.in

1) Senior Research Fellow (3 years)
2) Junior Research Fellow (3 years)
3) Junior Research Fellow (4½ years)

Eligibility:

For 1: MTech in Thermal Sciences / Propulsion Engg / Aerospace Engg; with 1 year research experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics desirable.
For 2: MSc Chemistry (60%), NET/GATE qualified; research experience / specialization in Organic Chemistry / Polymer Chemistry desirable
For 3: MSc (Chemistry / Physics); NET/GATE qualified; experience in polymer science desirable

For all: MTech/MSc (1st Div, 60%) and BE/BTEch (65%)
Age limit: 28 years (on 15 January 2009)
Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 15 January 2009

Math & Stats

University of Delhi, D/o Operational Research, Room No 215, IInd Floor, New Academic Block, Delhi 110007
www.du.ac.in

MSc Operational Research (N Campus)
MA / MSc Applied Operational Research
(S Campus)

Eligibility: Masters degree (with at least 2 papers in Maths / Computer Sc / Statistics / Ops Res at Bachelors level) / Bachelors degree (with at least 2 papers in Maths / Computer Sc / Statistics / Ops Res), 55%

Selection: Entrance Test: 08 March 2009

Application Form: Send Rs 600 by DD favouring "Registrar, University of Delhi" payable at SBI, New Delhi along with a self-addressed, stamped (Rs 30/-) envelope (10" x 7") to the above address / Download from website.

Details: Website

Application Deadline: 06 February 2009

University

Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana, Ambala 133203 (Har) (Deemed University)
www.mmumullana.com

Graduate courses
Industry Integrated Courses
Diploma Courses
Certificate Courses

PG Courses

Integrated Course (5 years)

Entrance Test: 21 June 2009

Application Form & Details: Website

Application Deadline: 30 April 2009

Pervin Malhotra, Director, Career Guidance India (CARING) (www.careerguidanceindia.com)


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