Teacher retention lacuna

EducationWorld March 2019 | Mailbox

Your February cover story ‘Institution development mantras of India’s top-ranked schools’ was interesting and revealing. I enjoyed reading the interviews with promoters/principals of India’s top-ranked schools and their prescriptions on how to develop great schools and sustain them. Successful management of education institutions is the unwritten precondition of ensuring high achievement in academics, co-curricular and sports activities.

However, I was hoping to know more about how the country’s best schools develop and retain great teachers. The lack of quality teachers and teacher attrition is the biggest bugbear of Indian K-12 education. Hope you will address this important issue in future editions.

Krutika Desai

xposé request

I am an aam aadmi, frustrated by the apathy of officials in government and over-hyped NGOs. For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to place an out-of-school child in my neighbourhood in a school or non-formal education centre. The boy whom I suspect is eight-nine years old spends most of his time in our office lobby, while his migrant labour parents toil on a construction site nearby. The state government’s child helpline and the nodal NGO that collaborates with it — APSA — were indifferent to my requests, citing staff shortage. Other NGOs I approached asked for parents’ ration card, Aadhaar card, parent’s permission letter, etc.

Every time I step in and out of my office building, I witness the plight of this wide-eyed child wasting his childhood in dark corners of our office building, even as authorities sit a stone’s throw away, unmoved by the rising number of school drop-outs reported in their own surveys. I appeal to you to do an exposé of the education ministry and government-affiliated NGOs which are doing precious little to put out-of-school children back into school.

Geetha Nayar

PM & servants

Rajiv Desai’s description of prime minister Narendra Modi (Expert Comment, EW February) as fascist, capricious and whimsical, is accurate. He has skilfully managed to marginalise prominent BJP leaders like L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. The aides he has retained — Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh — function like servants rather than trusted confidants of the PM, who clearly has a mind of his own.

Mid-February newspapers report a spurt in real economic growth with rising availability of cash in the system. The country is clawing back from the devastation of the “demonetisation masterstroke” the PM sprung on this hapless nation on November 8, 2016.

Could anyone else in any party — ‘Pappu’ and the Congress included — have visited such a calamity upon the nation? I doubt it.


Good example

I am a subscriber of your magazine and enjoy reading your international news section. In the EW February edition, the story titled ‘OECD: Preschool education resurgence’ caught my attention.

Denmark’s innovative ideas on early childhood education centred on play-based learning should inspire Indian preschools, which are always in a tearing hurry to teach reading and writing skills as soon as a child is able to hold a pencil.

Keep up the good work!

Mira Nayak

Listen to children!

Congratulations for staging a successful 9th Early Childhood Education National Conference in Bangalore (Special report, EW February).

The lectures delivered by nationally renowned early childhood education experts were excellent and thought-provoking. Especially Dr. Amrita Vohra’s lecture/essay on differentiated instruction in early childhood education. I agree with Dr. Vohra that preschool teachers need to not only create stress-free learning environments but also reflect on their classroom practices, bearing in mind that children can teach us to teach them.

Bharti Mullick

Erroneous description

Re my Expert Comment essay published in EW February. You have erroneously identified me as a Congress party spokesperson. Although I am a supporter, since 2004 when I served on the party’s media advisory board, I have held no official position in the party.

Rajiv Desai

We regret the error — Editor

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