Rethink life skills education

I enjoyed reading your cover story ‘Life skills: new mantra of Indian education’ (EW June). It’s regrettable that the majority of parents in India are reluctant to spend time or money developing the life skills of their children, and are obsessed with academic grades.

Recently, an IAS aspirant ended his life hours after he was denied entry into an examination hall because he arrived four minutes late. With all due respect to him, I believe it’s a failure of our education system that it didn’t teach him to face a minor setback in life. It’s high time all parents rethink the value of life skills education. 

Shrishti Vasudev


Congratulations to PFI

You have done well to highlight the taboo subject of family planning (Special report, ‘Plowing a lonely furrow in family planning’, EW June). The disappearance of family planning from the public discourse is indeed a great betrayal of the national interest. Inaction on this issue has set us back by decades. 

Clearly, a lot more needs to be done for population control, and quickly. I congratulate the Population Foundation of India for its determined propagation of this important issue.

Preetha Mahesh


Generous compliment

What impresses so many of your readers in England about EducationWorld is not only the quality of its content, its outstanding contribution to the improvement of education in India and its fearless and hard-hitting criticisms of governmental failings, but also how beautifully written it is. When I was a boy, we were told to read the editorials and feature articles of the then great Times, London if we wanted to learn to write really good English. 

Sadly this is no longer true of Britain’s Times, but it is very true of India’s EW. Just to read your journal is a first-class education in English. 

Prof. Peter Greenhalgh, MA, Ph D,
Cambridge (UK)


Digital education lacuna

Re the Education News (EW June) on the private schools textbooks racket in Bangalore. Although I appreciate Dr. Ravinarayan Chakrakodi’s suggestion that teachers should rely on the Internet instead of textbooks, it’s important to bear in mind that teachers in this part of the world are not equipped and/or trained to use digital resources. The great temptation to encourage and value copycat answers is because of poorly qualified and ill-trained teachers. 

Moreover, most teachers resist all improvements suggested by expert committees. Many of our K-12 education problems will automatically reduce if we recruit highly qualified teachers on Central pay scales.

Dr. B.S. Sudhindra
OSD/Director (Retd.) IGNOU


Unchecked rackets

I am a regular reader of EducationWorld and fully agree with the author’s views expressed in the education news from Karnataka (‘Well-oiled racket’, EW June). The textbooks racket is not restricted to metro cities, but is rampant even in small towns and villages.

Here, notebooks and textbooks are sold for almost double or even higher prices by private textbook vendors favoured by school managements. Why aren’t regulatory authorities punishing these vendors and school managements?

R.H. Prakash 
Sindhanur (Raichur)


Heinous crimes protest

We want to draw your attention to three heinous crimes committed against Dalits across the country on May 27-28. Kevin Joseph, a 23-year-old Dalit Christian, was killed within 15 hours of his marriage with a higher caste Syrian Christian girl in Kottayam district; Trilochan Mahato, a 19-year-old Dalit graduate, was brutally killed and his body hung from a tree in a village in the Purulia district of West Bengal. On the shirt covering his body were these words: ‘You deserve to die. You supported BJP. Die.’ In Tejassvi Yadav’s Radhopur (Bihar) constituency, the entire basti of Paswan Dalits was set on fire, their shops destroyed and their women molested. 

The National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF, a teachers’ organisation working in Delhi University) strongly condemns these attacks. We also condemn the conspiratorial silence of opposition political parties and the hypocrisy of the so-called Left liberals and their supporters in the print and electronic media. NDTF seeks an impartial enquiry and severe action against the perpetrators of these brutal crimes.

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Pandey
President, NDTF