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Shock & Anger

I read your cover story on the lack of safety for women students in Uttar Pradesh with much anger and despair (EW January).

The primary duty of university managements is to provide safe and conducive environments for all students including women, to access equal study and co-curricular education facilities and opportunities.

Shockingly, even in higher education institutions across the country including the 101-year-old Benares Hindu university (BHU), women students are being denied this fundamental right and subjected to archaic social and moral policing by university authorities.

The silver lining is that UP’s women students are speaking up and fighting back. The BHU women students’ protest is a strong indication that time is up for men steeped in patriarchy and misogyny.

Manjari Mathur



Deep moral decay

Thanks for the in-depth cover story ‘Women students war to re- claim campus spaces’ (EW January). It’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh that women students have to fight fiercely for their fundamental right to safety and protection from abuse within institutional premises. It reflects a deep moral decay within our society and the regressive attitudes of men who lead this benighted state, that women who have bravely ventured to acquire higher education are being subjected to Victorian moral codes and abuse.

I believe the root cause of the rising crime wave against women is utter neglect of the public primary education system in UP. It’s important for schools to inculcate gender sensitivity and respect for girl children among boys of youngest age.

Paras Sengupta



Vanished gurukuls lament

I am a regular reader of EducationWorld. I am dismayed that the ancient system of Indian gurukul education exists only in fables.

Today, new English-medium schools are opening in every nook and corner of the country. But most of them are being run for money.

Even the government is least in- terested in spreading education, especially in rural areas. Our leaders must take active interest in trying to improve the education system and appoint qualified teachers.

Narendra Soni

On email


Useful purpose

I disagree with Dr. Krishna Kumar’s views expressed in the anniversary essay ‘The downside of beautiful schools’ (EW November).

Which parent doesn’t want to fearlessly criticise the state authorities and neta-babus, and perhaps above all, celebrating and rewarding real merit in your annual preschool, school and higher education rankings and annual awards ceremonies, send her child to a school with a plush garden, swimming pool, central air-conditioning and tidy interiors? It speaks highly of the school’s efficient management and intent to make a child’s learning journey comfortable. The reason why schools self-proclaim their infrastructure and achievements is to stand out against competition, which is stiff these days.

To promote intellectual and emotional qualities in students, top-ranked schools often provide messy tinkering labs and kitchen gardens where children are free to explore. Moreover, when students learn to use facilities with due care, it often translates into careful behav- iour towards facilities at home and elsewhere. Hence, although beautiful schools seem unnecessarily opulent, they serve a useful purpose.

Aparna Arunachalam



Encomiums from abroad

I am very impressed by your work on preschool education (EW December). What you are doing and achieving to focus minds on the vital importance of early childhood care and education is tremendous, and the EW India Preschool Rankings highlight some very impressive and inspiring people and institutions.

I feel, however, that you are underestimating your achievements in the field of school education. your objective to “build the pressure of public opinion to make education the #1 item on the national agenda” is as daunting as it is ambitious.

It’s still early days, and you have so much to be proud of. Publicising hidden statistics, giving prominence to authoritative analyses of individuals such as T.S.R. Subramanian, who are of immense value.

I wish we had the equivalent of EducationWorld in the uK, for this country’s state education system is in a terrible mess too, and with less excuse.

Clare Yarnold


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