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Indian education system has changed

Gurkirpal Singh Sidhu’s article “Learning, the Canadian way”(Feb 15) was interesting. It is heartening to note that though the writer left his motherland yet he is keen to improve its education system. But I want to clarify certain points about the Indian education system. Our system lacks flexibility as far as changing streams is concerned.

Our students are not encouraged to munch in the class or call teachers by first names except in a few so-called elite schools, yet cordial relations between the teacher and the taught are encouraged and are considered to be an essential ingredient of good education. “Child-centered” approach which focuses on the needs of the child rather than those of others involved in the educational process is followed. Needs, abilities, interests and learning styles of students are kept in mind to devise teaching methods. The teacher acts as a facilitator and creates learning situations so that the child learns by doing and constructs his own knowledge.

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Technology-aided learning is made compulsory and infrastructure is provided in schools. There are laws against administering corporal punishment and degrading the students. Effort is made to make learning pleasurable by bringing education outside the traditional classroom and making it activity based. Communication skills are given due importance and special provision is made to appoint teachers for “spoken English” in the schools.

Continuous comprehensive evaluation system has been introduced to lessen the stress of examination on students. The child is not evaluated on the basis of a few stereotyped tests but simple tests conducted periodically throughout the session and also performance of the child in non-scholastic areas. Co-curricular activities form an integral part of the curriculum and are taken into account while evaluating a child’s progress. The writer has rightly pointed out that difference in teaching in India and Canada are not due to technological advancement but attitude of teachers and the supporting staff. The idea of giving credit for social service is wonderful and ought to be introduced in every country. India has a long way to go as far as the right attitude is concerned.


Captain’s stand on corruption

The editorial “The rot at PPSC: Urgent need for Operation Cleanup” (Feb 15) while raising the pertinent issue of cleaning up the rot in the system has misinterpreted the stand of the PCC President Capt Amarinder Singh on the issue of corruption. The state government is keen to further the rot by trying to facilitate the induction of the members who can do their bidding for appointment to 400 vacancies in the state.

Capt Amarinder Singh’s stand on corruption remains thoroughly unambiguous and clear. The current regime is trying to get rid of some of the members who are not succumbing to their pressure so that the government could manage the selection of its favourites in the provincial civil services. Besides, it is also keen to expand the strength of the commission.

VIMAL SUMBLY, Press Secretary to the PCC President, Chandigarh.

Coalition compulsions

On the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s interaction with editors of the electronic media in New Delhi although the editorial “Pushed hard by scams” (Feb 17) has rightly opined that he is fighting a tough battle in the wake of a spate of scams, corruption scandals and issues arising from governance and ethical deficits, policy muddles, and coalition woes rocking his government in recent months. But it is not convincing at all that by responding to questions with his characteristic candour and earnestness, Dr Singh has indeed re-established his credentials as a well-meaning leader. There is no denying the fact that the coalition compulsions made his party accept its ally’s choice of Cabinet Ministers and presumably their ways which amounts to evading the key issue of prime ministerial accountability. The only aspect to which he made repeated allusion were the compulsions of a coalition government and the refrain of his excuses was that he was under the compulsions of a coalition culture.

Now the honest taxpayers’ vital question is: “Was saving his coalition government more important than the interest of the nation and its hard-earned Rs 1.76 lakh crores? Is this “raj dharma?” Every elected member of Parliament or member of a Legislative Assembly ought to remember that she /he is solely answerable to the citizens of India, and not to any party or its leaders.  Of course, the nation, too, has learnt a lesson. The bitter lesson is that coalition governments should be avoided as far as possible. Our progress has been arrested and our unity and integrity undermined ever since we opened the option of coalition government at the Centre and the states. The mainstream parties have to double their effort to see that they win sizeable majority in future elections. Voters have to understand the real value of their vote.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh

No more macho

It is really shocking that our new generation Punjabi male is losing his vigour (news report, “Sperm shock for young, macho Punjabi” by Anshu Seth, Feb 17). Declining sperm count is due to drug abuse and alcoholism. It seems a day will come soon when sperm count test will become mandatory before a marriage. There is an urgent need to save the new generation from drugs.


Joy of comics

The news report “Comics can mean serious business”(Feb 20) was delightful. It is heartening to note that the Indian Comic Con got unexpected response from lovers of comics.

In today’s fast-paced world, kids have almost forgotten the charming world of comics. Video games, play stations, costly toys take much of their attention. The good old comic books seem to have been relegated to some old corner of the house.


Sycophants galore

The editorial “Maya memsaheb; Sycophancy is an odious “democratic” practice” (Feb 10) has rightly thrown light on the disgusting act of sycophancy. It has acquired new connotations in the context of Indian polity. It is perhaps the lack of faith in the system that promotes sycophancy.




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