Teacher training imperative

EducationWorld January 05 | EducationWorld

Congratulations on your cover story ‘Fading allure of five-star schools’ (December). It unbiasedly evaluated the pros and cons of international schools which are being promoted across the country with alarming speed.

My daughter is three years old and I’ve been looking around for a good international school. I must say that I’ve been impressed by the superb facilities five-star schools offer. But after reading your article I’ve realised that there’s more to a school than fancy facilities. The quality of teachers and instruction provided is what differentiates one school from another.

Equipping teachers to teach inter-national curriculums requires extensive training by specialists. This is possible only if schools invest heavily in teachers just as they do in infrastructure. Otherwise there will be heavy teacher as well as student attrition.

Sheela Chandy
Bangalore

Education the answer

The special report titled ‘Swelling tide of youth violence’ (December) brought into sharp focus an alarming trend which is plaguing the country’s generation next. EducationWorld is the only news-magazine to have highlighted this trend and focused on finding solutions. Though crime columns of mainstream newspapers are full of incidents of youth violence, there has not been a single comprehensive report to draw attention to the massive proportions of this problem. As cited in your article, police establishments across the country are shy of even recognising the problem.

It is important to note that most youth are not habitual offenders and should be prevented from becoming so. In my opinion counselling, education and rehabilitation are the best methods to arrest this trend of increasing youth violence. Branding young people as ‘juvenile delinquents’ or ‘offenders’ would snuff out their spirit and make them hardened criminals.
 
T. Ramanatha Shastry
Tumkur (Karnataka)

Smoothe passage to Russia

This refers to your education news report ‘Rough passage to Russia’ (December). I have been closely following news items regarding the return of three Chennai students who went to Russia to study medicine in one of the best medical academies.

Considering the issue as a whole, it’s obvious there’s something very wrong about the modus operandi of the consultants. Quite clearly there’s a nexus between the consultants and their agents in Delhi/ Russia. Otherwise, how can senior students control things in the hostel? There’s also something fishy in the way the academy personnel are colluding with the consultants. Moreover the Russian consulate’s denial could have been at the behest of the consultants.

In the interest of freshers who suffer at the hands of the so-called rogue senior students, and to ensure that consultants conduct their business in a straightforward manner, the Tamil Nadu state government authorities should take immediate steps to investigate this scandal thoroughly. Since a growing number of students are emplaning for Russia on false promises being made by consultants in Chennai, swift action is imperative.

V. S. Jayaraman
Chennai

Follow-up stories please

I am a regular reader of EducationWorld and I find it highly informative and entertaining. I especially like to read the education news section in your magazine where events from across the country are reported with good analysis. But what I fail to understand is that on several occasions there is hardly any follow-up on the news reports published.

Except in the case of the CET and Lucknow university elections I have not come across any sustained news follow-ups in EW. You should fill this lacuna and publish follow up reports to complete the story and resolve readers’ confusion.

Sudheendra Kamat
Mumbai

Free education from politicians

Almost every issue of EducationWorld features stories highlighting the dismal state of education in India. The decline is very marked and sends shivers down the spine. At this crucial juncture the prescriptions given by distinguished scholars in your fifth anniversary issue (November 2004) is a noteworthy effort and needs the immediate attention of policy makers.

However the most vital parameter which affects the quality of education — the quality of teachers — is missing from your prescription. It’s well known that only those who fail in frontier areas of employment i.e IAS, IPS, medicine, engineering and computer sciences etc, enter the teaching profession. Low pay and perks, inadequate societal recognition and incentives discourage bright students from entering this profession. Further, the faulty teacher recruitment systems of states, nepotism and poor assessment systems contribute to the abysmal state of Indian education.

Bibhuti Narayan Biswal
Principal, Air Force School, Jamnagar

Sarkar’s best wishes

I am delighted to learn that your magazine — EducationWorld â€” has completed five years of uninterrupted publication.

I am sure with your boundless energy and undoubted editorial skills, the magazine can look forward to many more birthdays and milestones.

Aveek Sarkar, Chief Editor
Anand Bazar Patrika Ltd, Kolkata

Burrows clarifies

Thank you for publishing my letter under the headline ‘Tale of two boards’ in the November issue of EducationWorld. While editing the letter, an error has crept into paragraph four, line four: “At the request of the principal of an affiliated CISCE school, the council has answer scripts of selected students in pre-board trial exams evaluated by experts…”

This should read as: “At the request… the council has answer scripts of selected students evaluated by experts…” The evaluation by experts is of actual ICSE examination answer scripts and not pre-board trial examinations.

T.T. Burrows
Secretary, Magarpatta City Public School
Pune

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