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ISRA 2020

Comforting cover story

EducationWorld July 2020 | Mailbox

EducationWorld June 2020I’m sure your brilliant cover story ‘50 leaders who can revive Indian education’ (EW June) has brought considerable cheer to many parents like me who are disillusioned with the quality of the education system. Now with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing closure of all education institutions, the future of our children and youth is uncertain.

I was comforted by reading the interviews of the 50 leaders who have outlined innovative solutions and ideas to revive Indian education, including the shift to online learning to ensure education continuity. I was especially impressed by the solutions outlined by prominent educators such as Dr. K. Kasturirangan and Gerry Arathoon.

Keep up the good work!

Jhimli Bose

Inspirational but…

Compliments to the EducationWorld team for highlighting 50 great institutional leaders across India who offer hope of reviving KG-P hD education (EW June). It was inspirational to read how these leaders and their institutions have adapted to learning challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

However my fear is that HRD ministry officials will ignore the excellent reform recommendations proposed by these worthy representatives of India’s private and public education sectors.

Vishakha Jain

Reinvigorate Digital India

Dr. Ashwin Fernandes’ Teacherto-teacher essay on the QS IGAUGE Further Academic Interest Report 2020 (EW May) highlights the greatest challenge confronting Indian education in the Covid-19 era — the glaring digital divide and inadequate IT infrastructure and connectivity.

According to the 2017-18 National Sample Survey report, while 66 percent of India’s population lives in villages, only 15 percent of rural households have access to the Internet. Moreover only 24 percent of India’s households have Internet connectivity and a dismal 8 percent of children and youth in the 5-24 age group have access to a computer and Internet connectivity.

Therefore without delay, the Central government should assess the effectiveness and implementation bottlenecks of its Digital India campaign launched by prime minister Narendra Modi in 2015 with much fanfare. Clearly, there is urgent need for substantial government investment in building IT infrastructure to ensure underprivileged children can avail online education.

Sheela Chitnis

Free teachers!

The ‘Corona in the curriculum’ expert comment column (EW June) written by eminent educationist Dr. Krishna Kumar is a wake-up call for Indian educators. I totally agree with Dr. Kumar when he says “it is never too late to imagine doing things differently”. But, unfortunately most teachers in India are preoccupied with covering prescribed syllabuses and have little time for ideating innovative pedagogies.

I believe it’s time our teachers are given the freedom to teach beyond prescribed textbooks and engage in curriculum design to make teachinglearning meaningful.

Ankita Singh on email

Higher ranking enthusiasm

We sincerely appreciate the initiative taken by EducationWorld to rate and rank higher education institutions across the country and for especially dedicating a separate league table to private autonomous colleges (EW April). Autonomous colleges are indeed “a class apart and above the vast majority of the country’s undergrad colleges”.

Therefore we are greatly enthused that Bhavan’s Vivekananda College of Science, Humanities & Commerce is ranked #6 in the state of Telangana and #45 countrywide among autonomous colleges. As for our NIRF ranking, your magazine has published ‘NR (not ranked)’. Kindly note that our college has been ranked in the lower 151-200 bracket by the Union HRD ministry’s NIRF in 2018 and 2019.

Air Cmde (Retd.) JLN Sastry, Vice chairman, Bhavan’s Vidya Bhavan, Secunderabad

Right direction

Congratulations for your pioneering initiative of ranking the country’s government and private universities separately in the EW India Higher Education Rankings 2020-21 (EW May). I believe this is a step in the right direction for fostering a spirit of competition and attainment of higher education. Your detailed league tables will greatly help school-leaving students to make informed higher ed decisions.

Kamlesh S. on e-mail

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