Thanks for the brilliant cover story ‘Many hurdles of India’s most public education-friendly party’ (EW June). The Aam Aadmi Party under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal deserves credit for rejuvenating Delhi’s public education system.
As you have correctly stated, Delhi state ruled by AAP is the first in the country to allocate 26 percent of its budget for public education. Not only has Kejriwal made upgradation of government schools AAP’s #1 priority, he has also shown the nerve to take the private schools lobby head-on. AAP’s education focus and success proves that India needs well-educated political leaders.
Grades inflation racket
Congratulations to EducationWorld for blowing the lid off the great Indian school grades inflation racket in your well-researched special report ‘Grades inflation destroying K-12 education’ (EW June). It’s scandalous that the national and state education boards, including CBSE and CISCE, are practising runaway grades inflation in school-leaving exams.
I am in full agreement with Dr. Geeta Kingdon of City Montessori School, Lucknow who says “it is unbecoming for a respectable country to be seen engaging in large-scale open fraud on its own children”. I hope your thought-provoking story prompts urgent revamping of the exams and evaluation system.
Thanks for the eye-opening special report ‘Grades inflation destroying K-12 education’ (EW June).
With a large number of students routinely averaging 90 percent-plus in school-leaving exams, the question that needs to be addressed urgently is: What is the purpose of education? Is it to prepare children for success in exams or success in life? If it’s the latter, the entire examination system needs radical overhaul.
Let’s not forget that we inherited an inherently faulty education system defined by rote learning and outdated curriculums. But it has shown little signs of progress over the past half century. The focus of educators should be on overhauling classroom pedagogies and encouraging children to learn by understanding rather than rote. This calls for long-term, not band-aid solutions.
The Education News report filed by your Tamil Nadu correspondent Hemalatha Raghupathi (‘TET troubles’, EW June) is extremely disturbing. She writes that 95 percent of teachers who wrote the Teacher Eligibility Test in 2017 failed. Despite this statistic, I am amazed at the callous attitude of the teachers’ federation that claims all its teachers are “well-qualified”.
It’s time we realise there is no hope for Indian education unless we have qualified teachers in our schools. In almost all countries abroad, primary school teachers have to pass stringent qualifying exams. Here in India, any garage space transforms into a preschool, and teaching has become a default career option for low-scoring graduates and homemakers looking for flexible working hours. Aiding and abetting them are India’s infamous B.Ed colleges and teachers associations/unions which hold government to ransom.
In all lamentations about the pathetic quality of public education, the rogue elephant in the room is the teachers community. The National Education Policy 2019 draft has a full chapter on revamping teacher education in India. Let us hope the new government will accept its recommendations.
Rank teacher colleges
Congratulations to your team for the brilliant insights provided about the competencies of leading private colleges in India (EW India Private Higher Education Rankings 2019-20, EW May). They are very useful and well-timed. I have a suggestion. If EW can publish a comprehensive ranking of colleges that offer study programmes in teaching, design, languages etc, it will go a long way in helping school-leavers aspiring for these careers.
Moreover, if teacher training colleges for example, are surveyed and ranked by a respected magazine such as EW, they will be forced to improve standards. These institutions will strive to reach your gold standard and we can look forward to more people proudly opting for not-so-fancy teaching careers. Keep up the good work!
Tulsi Bhatia on e-mail
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