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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

With schools affiliated with the Geneva/The Hague (Netherlands)-based International Baccalaureate (IB) examination board — most of them promoted in the new millennium — routinely topping the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings, while on holiday abroad this year, your editors availed an opportunity to visit the IB academic and administrative office in The Hague. Besides, this school examinations board has over 4,600 schools in 146 countries around the world affiliated with it. 

The outcome of this visit is the cover story in our first issue of the new academic year, offering a bird’s eye view of the curriculum formulation, teacher development and other services provided by IB’s 5,000 plus highly-qualified professional educators. Another intriguing factor which prompted this investigation and our cover story is that the incumbent Director-General of this European school board is India-born Dr. Siva Kumari, the first woman DG of IB which is preparing to celebrate its golden jubilee (50th anniversary) next year. A busy travel schedule and intensive interviews with time-conscious IB top brass, and austere hospitality of this surprisingly hierarchical and bureaucratic exams board, made writing this story an arduous enterprise, culminating in a viral infection (see p.90) which slowed down your indefatigable editor. This explains the somewhat delayed EducationWorld this month, for which apologies. 

Our special report feature in this issue on Jawaharlal Nehru University which is in the news for all reasons other than academic achievement, is equally — if not more — interesting. Ranked India’s #2 university in the Union HRD ministry’s NIRF 2017 league table, JNU — a stronghold of students and faculty wedded to Left anti-establishment ideologies — is now the prime target of ABVP, the students wing of the BJP which was swept to power at the Centre in General Election 2014. Its academic reputation over the past half century has been ruined by leftist jholawalas who have permeated JNU’s curriculums with Marxist ideology. Now confronted with the prospect of faux intellectuals of the RSS/BJP swamping this hitherto pampered postgrad institution under the watch of a new handpicked vice chancellor, JNU is indeed trapped between the devil and a rising saffron tide. Delhi-based senior journalist Indranil Banerjie with whom I am pleased to renew an old acquaintance, has ably investigated and highlighted the precarious condition of this pampered university promoted to perpetuate the philosophy and ideals of independent India’s first prime minister. 

There’s a lot else in this monsoon issue of EW. Check out our education news section to learn how the neta-babu brotherhood is making a mess of education in states across the country.                

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