SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Evaluating the education system

The two editorials “Indians are coming” and “Say no to rote” (June 15), I feel, were contradictory. The US President, Mr Barack Obama’s praise for the Indian (and Chinese) students is heartening. It is only due to the hard work, commitment and the zest of our students that they are able to achieve distinguished positions in education, technology, medical profession, etc. The path adopted by our students is not an easy one but the end result more than compensates for the austerity observed by them.

However, in the editorial “Say no to rote”, some of the shortcomings of the Indian education system highlighted include “undue emphasis on marks and percentages, education in India stifles creativity and knowledge, exam-driven education system creates undue pressure and anxiety among students”.

I wonder why over a period of time some of us have started seeing these as limitations of only the Indian education system. Since an examination is a means to evaluate learning by students, whether we have marks or percentages or even a grading-scale there is no escape from examinations. Reforms in one examination system will yield yet another examination system.

If we have to prepare our students to face challenges, they must learn to cope with stress. Ironically, the American children have been cautioned against the excessive use of TV and video games and strangely we are advocating “making education a fun-filled and stress-free experience”.

Lastly, internal assessment is an idealised concept and with no common criteria for it, it will always remain questionable in our system.

Dr I. M. JOSHI, Chandigarh




II

I agree that rote learning kills the creative ability of children. In fact, our education system is so examination-oriented that all the efforts of teachers, parents and students are directed towards passing the examination with high percentage of marks. The evaluation system is not structured to assess the analytical skills of students.

It is heartening to note that the CBSE has come up with certain concrete student-friendly approaches that are expected to reduce stress on the student’s mind. Moreover, classroom activities should be creative and imaginative so that the children draw pleasure out of learning. The students must be equipped to realise that education is a lifelong process. We hope, the HRD Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, will do his best to enable the education system to focus upon real learning.

SUDESH KUMAR SHARMA, Kapurthala

Strong opposition

Democracy in India has become a meaningless word, as the government seems least worried about the nation’s development. India is facing innumerable problems like poverty, unemployment and corruption. While many political leaders are becoming richer, vast number of Indians go to bed without two square meals a day. Perhaps, a strong opposition and even NGOs can keep a check on the government’s functioning.

RAMESHINDER SINGH SANDHU, Switzerland

II

I appreciate the maturity of the Indian voters who have given a clear verdict for a better tomorrow and for growth and development. But to keep the UPA government on its toes, the need of the hour is a constructive opposition that can serve as a watchdog. The current global crisis is not just financial and economic but political too. Can a rejuvenated BJP rise to the occasion and play the part of a constructive opposition?

A. S. NARULA, Panchkula

Punish adulterators

It is heartening (editorial, “Beware! It’s not milk”, June 10) to learn that the Government of China had acted promptly against the culprits involved in adulteration. But in our country things move at a snail’s pace. The government should take immediate steps to end the menace of adulteration. Adulteration of milk is a serious concern as it affects the health of children who are the main consumers of milk. Stringent punishment should be given to the adulterators.

SUBER SINGH PARIHAR, Khas Narwana, Kangra





When cricketers are ‘auctioned’

The editorial “The bat and the ball” (June 16) voiced the anguish of those who love cricket, which was considered a “gentleman’s game” in yesteryears. Today, cricketers are literally “auctioned” and “sold”. Worse still, no one realises the sense of shame attached to these words.

Cricket is being treated like a hen that lays golden eggs. Non-stop cricket has become a means to make money in the shortest possible time. In the process, real cricket is being sacrificed.

Still, we must not be over-critical of our cricket team for “The best of teams go through ups and downs and fans ought to take both victory and defeat in their stride”.

B. S. BHATIA, Chandigarh

 





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