Your cover story ‘Education agenda for new government 2019’ (EW April) is inspiring. It’s a shame that the election manifestos released by major political parties don’t have half the vision or passion of your story. The Congress manifesto merely ticks multiple checkboxes including increasing allocation for education to 6 percent of GDP. But the BJP promised this in 2014 and five years on, government expenditure on education is stagnant at 3.5 percent of GDP.
Continuous under-funding of public education clearly shows the apathy of all political parties towards developing India’s abundant human capital, which ideally should be their #1 priority. I advise all political leaders to read your cover story and understand the critical importance of education for national development.
I am a regular reader of EducationWorld and enjoyed reading your cover story titled ‘Education agenda for new government 2019’ (EW April). Congratulations for presenting a clear roadmap for human capital development — from early childhood education to higher education — for the new government.
Education is indeed the golden key that opens all doors to national socio-economic development. Leaders of the new government who will assume office in New Delhi this summer will do well to make education a non-partisan issue, and get all hands on deck to reform and upgrade Indian education.
The expert educators summer reading lists (Special Report, EW April) was excellent, covering a wide range of subjects of interest to educators. I agree with the author that Indian teachers are poorly read and therefore unable to infuse creativity into their classrooms. But, it’s also unfair to completely blame the teachers community. Teachers are bogged down with academic and administrative (and personal) work leaving them little time or energy to read anything beyond prescribed academic textbooks.
Schools should incentivise teachers to develop the reading habit, perhaps even give them a books allowance. Well-read teachers not only have greater self-confidence but also develop competencies and perspectives which enable them to infuse creativity and innovation within their students. After all reading maketh a full man!
Finding happiest Indians
India’s low #140 rank in the World Happiness Report 2019 is indeed a damper and one can sympathise with you if it caused you to skip your sundowner (Postscript, EW April). There is anyway little in global development surveys based on hard indices such as GDP and per capita income or soft, as the annual WHRs, to cheer us hapless desis.
But there must be a silver lining somewhere. Perhaps we should shine a light on ourselves to discover who are the happiest Indians. Is it the tribe of netas who perpetually fling muck at each other and seem to possess a superfluity of the good things of life? Or the sarkari babu with his/her comfortable assured lifetime pay and perks or the senior babu who can match the stash size of the most affluent netas. Or the scribe who pounds interminably on his keyboard as he pours vitriol on the neta-babu brotherhood?
Such an investigation could prove to be an enlightening experience that raises spirits.
Offbeat careers request
I am a mother of two teenage boys and always read your Career Focus column.
The April careers story on pet relocation professionals was well-written and informative. I am a pet parent and both my sons are animal lovers. It would be interesting to read about more such offbeat careers in your future issues.
Keep up the good work!
I am writing a word of appreciation for your excellent International News section. In my opinion this is the most interesting section — unreplicated by any other publication in India — of EducationWorld.
Your international coverage provides telling insights into the great efforts other countries are making to educate their children, in sharp contrast to India.