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Dangerous agenda

I read your cover story ‘Brewing revolt against control and command CBSE’ with shock and dismay (EW February). The brazenness with which the CBSE is passing circulars abridging the autonomy of affiliated private schools is a telling indicator of the intent of this pan-India examinations board to indirectly take over management control of private schools.

I believe there is a hidden agenda of the BJP government in suddenly tightening its grip over private schools. The idea of granting full autonomy to private education institutions is anathema to the RSS, BJP’s ideological mentor, which wants to impose its own Hindu nationalist agenda on all schools including top-ranked private schools. By getting the CBSE to dictate terms of administration and management, it wants to ensure private schools fall in line. 

This is very dangerous for the future of Indian school education and is sure to dumb down academic standards. The CBSE top management would do well to introspect on the disastrous consequences of excessive interference in affiliated private schools. 

Manohar Shetty

Beneficient influence
Thank you for hosting the excellent EW Early Childhood Education National Conference (EW February). EducationWorld has been, and is, a beneficient influence in the lives of the community of early childhood educators. Not only has it recognised the importance and value of quality early childhood education with passion and vigour, it has also placed this awareness on the national development agenda. 

Samina Mahmood


Drastic measures needed

Read your Editorial ‘Gender crimes need intelligent solutions’ (EW February), I believe the number of gender crimes in India is shockingly high and increasing because there’s no fear of the law or social boycott in India. Our lawmakers should explore the possibility of punishments such as surgical or chemical castration of rape convicts, while heavy fines should be imposed for other sexual offences especially when victims are minors.

There’s urgent need to launch a national awareness campaign through the media — print, e-media, internet, posters, advertisements — to educate the public about the vital importance of gender equality and respect for women. In addition, girl children and women should be trained in martial arts and self-defence techniques in all schools and colleges, and gender sensitisation classes should be compulsory for male children and their parents. 

Mahesh Kapasi


Massive depredations
I read the latest issue of EducationWorld with great interest. In particular, I enjoyed reading the review of Shashi Tharoor’s new book An Era of Darkness (EW February) which shatters the widely propagated myth of benign British rule in India for almost two centuries. Right through the book, Tharoor details the massive depredations of the Raj. 

For instance, 8 percent of India’s GDP was transferred to Britain each year (p.25); only 4 percent of the ICS officers were Indians as late as 1930 (60); the British reneged on their promise to give self-rule to India at the end of World War I (89); Brig. Dyer, the butcher of Jallianwalla Bagh was exonerated by the House of Lords and retired on a handsome pension (203); over 35 million Indians died due to famines during the British Raj (177); national literacy when the British departed was 16 percent (215) and the share of India’s GDP as a percentage of world GDP plunged from 23 percent to 4 percent during British rule (270).

Neither Britain, France, Holland nor the US conquered and colonised for benevolent reasons. They did so to serve their own national interests.

Lalit Kanodia


Excellent survey
Thanks for your excellent and well-researched EW India Preschool Rankings 2016 (EW December). The survey provides useful information to parents and teachers about the country’s best preschools. I’m happy to note that the rankings have rewarded preschools which encourage child-centred learning with teachers discharging the roles of motivators, facilitators and life-long learners.

I am a retired teacher. Currently, I am experimenting with how needle art can be used to make learning materials for primary school children. I believe every child should be trained to work with his/her hands from young age. This not only develops self-confidence but also motivates them to self-learn.

R. Padmasini
Tatasilk Farm, Bangalore 

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