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Incorrect conclusion

Your cover story ‘Belated teacher training revolution in K-12 education’ (EW April) is misleading and one-sided.

You have incorrectly concluded that a belated teacher training revolution is sweeping India because a handful of high-end private schools have promoted academies to train their teachers and/or aspiring teachers. Though this is a positive development, it’s a drop in the ocean. The majority of the country’s teachers are employed in government schools. Your story unfortunately, hasn’t even attempted to highlight any in-service training programmes launched by the government.

Unless the government takes the lead in reskilling and upgrading its teachers, there will be no teacher training revolution in this country. 

Saraswati Haldar


Open secret

Thanks for your cover story on teacher development in K-12 education (EW April). Teacher training has been grossly neglected by government for far too long. It’s an open secret that the country’s B.Ed colleges churn out poor quality graduates, and that their syllabuses haven’t been revised for decades. Most B.Ed colleges are promoted by ill-qualified private entrepreneurs, and are largely responsible for the mess in teacher education.

The recommendation of the T.S.R Subramanian Committee report on the New Education Policy to introduce a four-year integrated BA/B.Sc, B.Ed degree programme is an excellent idea. Also there should be a rigorous entrance test for admission into this course to ensure that only the brightest and best are admitted.

Manoj K. Sharma


Disturbing development
The country’s 594 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are indeed the crown jewels of Indian public education (EW April). They have given thousands of neglected children in rural India a window — albeit small — of opportunity to access high-quality school education and break out of the vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty. The secret to their success as highlighted in the story is what makes any education institution excellent — generous funding, committed teachers, and high-quality curriculum. Unfortunately, none of these are provided to the average government school. 

However, I was disturbed to read that admissions into the JNVs are being grabbed by rural elites and the ‘creamy layer’, whose children are professionally coached to top the JNV admission open exam. Obviously, this places the majority of rural children whose parents can’t afford tuitions at a disadvantage. Every child deserves quality education; access cannot be restricted to the meritorious and privileged. It may be a good idea to discontinue the JNV entrance test and introduce a lottery system.

Sudhakar Rao

Exposed agenda 
Your editorials in the latest issue (EW April) were excellent. All right-thinking citizens of this country should be dismayed and even frightened by the appointment of Yogi Adityanath — a hindutva zealot more in the news for inciting communal hatred rather than development initiatives — as chief minister of India’s most populous state.

As you have rightly argued, this decision of the BJP leadership and in particular of prime minister Narendra Modi, has made it clear that the party’s real agenda is consolidation of the Hindu vote and construction of a Ram temple on the disputed Babri masjid site. Development for all was merely an election slogan which ended with the elections.

Uttar Pradesh is one of the country’s most educationally backward and lawless states. It needs a leader who can put the education and health of children and safety of women as the government’s top priorities, not the building of a Ram temple or fashioning a Hindu rashtra.

Prakash Chakravarthy


Public interest publication

Your February edition was full of interest, as always. The CBSE cover story was worrying but sadly typical of bureaucracy everywhere. 

This is what happened on a colossal and disastrous scale with the European Union. What began as a simple European Economic Community (just as the CBSE began as an examinations board) went far beyond its original conception to become first the European Community, and then the European Union. 

Your exposure of CBSE’s sinister control and command agenda was clearly in the public interest. Keep up the good work!

Dr. Peter Greenhalgh
Kent (UK)

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