Your August cover story ‘3 Stepping Stones for School Improvement’ was highly informative, especially the section on teacher preparation and peer learning. I believe all education institutions should enable teachers to upskill through in-house training and annual workshops.
Above all, school managements need to raise the pay packages of teachers to encourage talented graduates to choose teaching as a career.
Dr. Sheela Subramaniam
Don’t blame teachers
I am writing about Anustup Nayak’s excellent cover story ‘3 Stepping Stones for School Improvement’ (EW August) and in particular his second recommendation for school reform — “stop blaming teachers; start improving teaching by equipping teachers with well-researched tools and practical training” (p.46).
I completely agree with him. Our K-12 teachers graduate from the higher education system with an average score of 60-65 percent or below. This means that they have a learning deficit of 35-40 percent of the prescribed syllabus/subject knowledge. But as soon as they begin their careers as teachers they are expected to deliver 100 percent of prescribed learning content.
It is not their fault that they are unable to improve student learning outcomes as our teacher training programmes are archaic and divorced from ground realities. They need continuous in-service training programmes that integrate tech-enabled pedagogies. Don’t blame, but tame, teachers in a friendly way.
Dr. A.S. Seetharamu
Perfect role model
Thanks for your excellent cover story ‘3 Stepping Stones for School Improvement’ (EW August). The three simple steps suggested for K-12 education reform are a strong wake-up call to all schools in India, whether elite, affordable or government, to begin the process of delivering globally comparable education to our high-potential children.
It’s also time Indian educators begin to identify and adapt best education practices from countries with provenly high-quality K-12 education systems such as Vietnam, Finland, Canada, Japan, China and Singapore. In particular Vietnam, which is a developing country like ours and a perfect role model for our educators. It’s commendable how Vietnam emerged from a bloody civil war in the late 1970s to become a remarkable education success story.
Less painful option
I agree with you that it’s time to weigh the excision option for Kashmir (Editorial, EW August). Earlier the better, I’d say — before we sacrifice more military lives to Pakistan’s continuous proxy war and terrorist attacks.
Our first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had agreed to a plebiscite in Kashmir limited to the Valley, i.e excluding Jammu and Ladakh. Vested interests, however, were eyeing all of the state thereby contributing to the plebiscite plan going into cold storage.
Unlike China and Pakistan which have subjugated their disaffected citizens — for instance in the Uighur and Tibet regions of China and Pakistan’s Balochistan — with force, India has taken the path of political engagement through the democratic process in Kashmir. Unfortunately, Kashmiris have repeatedly rebuffed India’s hand of friendship.
India has no stomach for sustained aggression. Therefore excision is the less painful option.
Feature alternative careers
The alternative career focus feature on stand-up comedy (EW August) was inspiring. Thanks to the Internet and television channels boom, stand-up comedy has emerged as a very popular form of entertainment. I am a great fan of comedian Kapil Sharma whose shows I watch regularly on television. It’s always a pleasure to read about success stories of people engaged in unconventional careers. Please continue to feature alternative careers.
Call to India Inc
As much as my chest swells with pride for young skier Aanchal Thakur featured in your August issue for bringing home India’s first international medal in this low-profile sport, I’m shocked to read that her father is her sole sponsor.
It’s high time captains of India Inc step forward to sponsor potential champions in non-traditional sports and games.