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

Teachers & pupils

The editorial “Like teachers, like pupils” (October 11) has rightly stated that a flawed education system cannot produce competent teachers. The structure of education is like a pyramid: broader at the base, narrow at the top. But in India, it is just the reverse since the thrust is more on higher education than elementary education. If students are inspired by good teachers, so are teachers by good students. Unfortunately, there is no challenge from the classroom and the hapless teacher is teaching the unteachable. A majority of students do not seek education to eke out a livelihood or broaden their minds. It is only the degree and the poise and the polish which they think they may acquire in college and university that makes them enroll as students.

The absence of good training programmes for teachers has grave consequences. For, teaching is a serious responsibility and an art which is acquired only with proper understanding of the student’s mind. There is also a need for a code of professional ethics in the teaching profession.

Anil Bhatiya, Hisar

Inculcate values

This refers to the editorial “Like teachers, like pupils” (October 11). It is worrisome that the custodians of education have become a mute spectator to what is happening in the education field. They have failed to promote good moral character, discipline, decency and humility among students. Having taught from 1953 to 1991, I feel ashamed to see that the present generation is turning out to be devoid of values. Educationists and policy makers must find ways to improve school education, apart from spreading it far and wide.

Sunder Singh Giani, Mohali

School system

Apropos the news item “State school system crumbling” (September 27), it is unfortunate that the quality of education being provided in government schools is poor. Despite the fact that Punjab is facing the problem of unemployment, 26 per cent posts of teacher are lying vacant. There is need to improve the traditional way of providing education as further advancements will automatically follow.


Learned faculty needed

It is heartening to know that Panjab University, Chandigarh, has retained its position as the number 1 university in India. But it is a matter of concern that out of 600 universities in India, none finds a place amongst the global top 200. Our educationists must understand that qualitative upgradation of universities neither depends upon huge buildings nor hefty grants. The main ingredient of any university is its learned and capable faculty. Doing away with internal and external influences during recruitment of faculty can do wonders in raising the ranking of universities.

Dr VK Anand, Patiala

Boost research

It is a meaningless proposal to have an Indianised ranking system when our universities/institutes of higher learning have miserably failed to compete at the world level. About 25 years ago, India and China were on the same platform as regards higher education. As per the latest edition of the Times Higher Education world universities ranking, two Chinese universities (Peking University and Tsinghua University) have ranked at places 48th and 49th, respectively. In contrast, two institutes of our country (Panjab University, Chandigarh, and the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore) are in the top 300. None of the high-profile IITs is even in the top 300.

China developed its education system and competed with the best in the world. The poor performance of our universities is due to lack of research and citation of the same. About 60% scores are earmarked for research and its citation in performance indicators adopted by the world ranking system.

Dr Gursharan Singh, Ludhiana

Low ranking

The low ranking of Indian universities is shameful. Universities have centres of excellence which hardly collaborate with each other. There is no exchange of faculty and professionals. There is a crunch of regular teachers. More than 60 per cent teachers are working on an ad hoc basis. How can we expect excellence from teachers who themselves are victims of exploitation?

By adopting parameters like quality of teachers, better teaching methods, improved research and balanced growth of students, we could achieve the goal in near future.

BR Kaundal, Mandi

Education.... 100 yrs ago

This is in reference to the news item in the column “100 years ago" (October 8). The attention of the public was drawn towards the resolution issued by the Bengal Government appointing an influential committee to suggest what should be taught to Hindu girls at the school level to enable them to become useful wives and mothers. Ideas were received and it was observed that most of the Indians were in favour of giving education to girls different from that of boys just to make them fit in household chores, like washing and cooking etc. It was a callous attitude towards the girls during those times. Only the intellectual class was not in favour of any differentiation. So, due to the negative thinking of the majority class at that time, the girls are not treated on a par with boys even today in our families. Preference is given to boys in every respect in today's advanced atmosphere.Girls outshine the boys in every walk of life or field. Education of a girl is very important even if she has to lead a housewife’s life.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Married schoolchildren

Married boys in schools” (“On this day...100 years ago”, October 16) sounds funny today. But it was common to see married boys and girls in schools till the fifties of the last century when I was a schoolteacher. This phenomenon was not taken any notice of in those days. The married boys and girls did not enjoy any special privilege in schools. It was also common to see parents saying that they sent their children to schools not because that they were interested in the education of their wards but because they were more keen on entering good matrimonial alliance for their children and school education was a good bet for it. Now, it is a far cry from those days. Social environment, including values, changes with change in times.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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