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...PTI Photo The recent tragedies involving the death of two schoolchildren in Gurugram have evoked the usual responses — demonstrations in protest, the institution of a “probe”, the suspension of the principal, a flurry of debates in the media and so on. But the fact is that these tragedies (and indeed, many more before them, reported and unreported), are only the symptoms of an entire educational system that has gone horribly wrong. Consider, for a moment, the following: Who sets up most of the private schools in the country and why? Barring exceptions, most private schools are set up by property dealers, liquor barons, politicians and the like, with a two-fold purpose. First of all, schools give them a fig leaf of respectability. ...Indian Express on Sept. 15, 2017, 12:10 a.m.
... The tragic demise of Arman, 10 years old, in circumstances that have yet to be established, touches a raw nerve — as indeed it should. Arman reportedly succumbed to head injuries after a fall at the Ghaziabad school he attended this week. No doubt, there will be a search for the “truth”, through the media, inquiry committees and what-have-you. But there is one truth that stares the nation in its face. Arman’s tragedy, and indeed the fate of many such children, is only symptomatic of one of the many failures of our education system. Student safety is certainly not on the priority list of those who control the levers of our system. There are two main reasons for this. One is that, by and large, education is run by people who have no background in, empathy for, or knowledge of, the real issues that affect this critical sector. The private schools are run by and as “business interests”. ...Indian Express on Aug. 4, 2017, 12:05 a.m.
... As yet another round of board examinations comes to a close, and another generation heads to university, it is perhaps wise for schools and universities to reflect on how prepared the average school-leaver is for university, and equally important, how prepared is the university for the school-leaver? P. Chidambaram, in an article in The Indian Express (IE, February 27), has opined, “A university is not a mere collection of buildings. It is also not a collection of colleges or centres of research. It is not constituted solely for the purpose of conferring degrees upon the young men and women who enter its portals, study subjects and pass examinations. ...Indian Express on April 7, 2017, midnight
...CBSE 10th and 12th class exam start on today on Tuesday. File/Express Photo by Manoj Kumar. Our universities are witnessing a great deal of turmoil. Having straddled the world of both schools and universities, as it were, it seems to me that there are a few basic issues involved here. The first is the almost total disconnect in our school system between the curriculum and the reality of this country. School curriculum, for the most part, is totally focused on board examinations. Of course we teach our children all there is to know about physics, math, history and what-have- you. But do we teach them about the bitter caste divide that plagues our country, about the spectre of famine that stalks large parts of our land, about gender sensitivity, about the possibility of atheism as a choice, about the rights and emotional needs of the LGBT community? Equally important, do we teach them to ask questions, or do we teach them only to passively receive our wisdom? An oft repeated complaint from teachers to parents is: “Your child is extremely disruptive in the classroom. ...Indian Express on Jan. 16, 2017, 1:05 a.m.