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Reforms in education overdue

Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal’s proposal to revamp the education system is long overdue (Editorial, “De-stressing education”, June 27). I endorse the proposal to make the Class X Board examination optional as it will reduce the stress on the child’s mind.

Creativity and imagination of the students will get sharpened in a stress-free environment. The dropout rate will also decline in the absence of the Board examination. The proposal to give grades rather than marks is also welcome.

A new Board to conduct school examinations is a progressive idea but it needs the states’ support because education is on the Concurrent List. Ultimately, the quality of education will depend upon the quality of the schools and teachers.



The Class X Board examination does take a toll on the students and their parents. Besides, these tend to encourage mugging up the subject rather than contributing to knowledge. How can one test a student’s ability to learn and conceptualise a subject within three hours? Is a student scoring in the eighties anything less than the one scoring in the nineties?

The same examination also proves a big help for those facing the fiercely competitive Class XII examination. The student can go through his Class XII Board examination confidently. The plan to scrap Class X Board examination is food for thought. Its pros and cons need to be weighed carefully.



I read the editorial, “Boosting higher education” (June 26). Concern for higher education is important since it was no longer an option, rather a necessity dictated by economic and social compulsions linked with technological developments all around.

The proposals for education reforms need to be introduced judiciously and only after a thorough debate at various levels. We should also desist from diverting the attention of the youth who are feeling the pinch of deprivation of job opportunities.

Dr I.M. JOSHI, Chandigarh


The plan to replace marks with grades will not reduce students’ stress. In schools and colleges, grades should not be introduced since the exact performance of a student can be assessed well only by his/her marks scored and not by grades. The proposal, if implemented, will cause confusion at the time of college admissions. How to fix cut off marks of students in the case of grades?

MAHESH KUMAR, Chandigarh


Mr Kapil Sibal should have first examined the Kerala experience. Its Education Minister M.A. Baby has ruined the school and secondary education as the marks or grades carry no significance. For reducing stress, the evaluation system has been made simpler and every student qualifies in the examination. There is no competition up to the age of 17 in Kerala. But after that, students will have to face tougher tests. Of the 56,000 candidates in the MBBS entrance, only 1,800 were found eligible this year!

While parents and teachers can regulate the examination stress of the students, the government should conduct the examinations in a nobler way. Stress manifests itself physically and mentally throughout one’s life. So, scrapping the Class X Board exam will be illogical.

K.A. SOLAMAN, Alappuzha (Kerala)


Students find it tough in getting admission to courses of their choice even after obtaining 90 per cent marks. Their parents are a worried lot. A review of deemed universities which demand huge capitation fee, donations, etc. and suitable norms in opening them are needed.

In all states, medical and technical institutions should have good infrastructure for helping deserving students. The government should guarantee loans to needy students.

From Standard 10 to 12, technical education should be imparted to students to arm them with a varied career option. Institutions like the IIMs and IITs should be made more autonomous by providing liberal financial help. If agriculture and industry are developed well, the students will be benefited which, in turn, will help check brain drain.

O.S. KANWAR, Jaswan Kangra (HP)

Mother, next to God

I read the article “Grandmothers need our attention” by O.P. Sharma and Carl Haub (June 19). The mother nurtures a child right from prenatal to antenatal stage. She bears and rears a child, sacrificing her comfort for the sake of her child. Mother is only next to God, as it is said “God couldn’t be everywhere, so He made a mother”.

Sadly, mothers and grandmothers are not only ignored physically, emotionally and on health grounds, but are also tortured by their kith and kin. It is pathetic when aged women, instead of enjoying rest and peace in the evening of their lives, have to work to keep their body and soul together. Worse, some mothers/parents give away their property, assets and money to their kids but do not get respect and proper care from them in return.

High moral and social values should be inculcated in the children. Filial ingratitude is the biggest sin one can commit.

RISHAM, Rajpura



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