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Archives for : teachers day

An open letter to PM Narendra Modi on Teachers’ Day


Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 04, 2014

Dear Prime Minister, We know you are busy giving final touches to your ‘Guru Mahotsav’ speech. It will probably be studded with your trademark anecdotes, witty alliterations and quotable quotes.

But, we are sure that you have left some blanks in your script—if there is one— to accommodate our last-minute suggestions and requests.

All of us often wonder why parents prefer to send children to private schools—where they are made to pay exorbitant fees that verge on extortion— but to government institutions for higher education.

One reason is that teachers at the elementary level lack the commitment and quality required to build a strong foundation, even though government school teachers get paid five to six times the money an average Indian makes.

The 2013 ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) survey—a reliable barometer of the level of learning in rural areas— shows only 32.6% students in standard III of government schools could read text meant for standard I. In private schools, the figure was 59.6%.

Similarly, just 20% children in standard V of government schools know how to divide and just 18.9% in standard III could do simple subtraction.

You are fond of the ‘Make in India’ slogan. How about a ‘Guru in Government School’ slogan? How about holding teachers accountable for results? How about giving them targets and assessing their performance annually? How about a ‘student fails, teacher pays’ policy? In return, free them of the responsibility of giving polio jabs; rid them of the burden of cooking mid-day meals and conducting elections.

Teaching children is a full-time specialized job; please do not let our teachers find valid excuses for staying away from classes.

Here is a suggestion to begin with: why not have a separate ministry to focus on elementary education instead of putting everything under the HRD minister?

Dear Mr. Modi, w

e know that the role of school education is to help students read and write; understand the basic concepts of arithmetic; develop a scientific temperament; and a taste for art and culture; question superstition and separate the logical from the illogical and supercilious.

But some of us worry that the ongoing ‘Hindu-Hindi-Hindutva’ rhetoric triggered by the Dinanath Batras of this world may end up making our children regressive by loading their impressionable minds with balderdash masquerading as swadeshi wisdom.

We all are, for instance, fond of childhood tales that ‘Pushpak Vimans’ were the preferred mode of transport during and before Ram Rajya. But we would all like these fantastic tales to be subjects of bedtime stories and not school syllabuses.

The world knows that the Wright Brothers invented the aeroplane; our children would become laughing stocks if they were to venture out and argue that scientists from our ‘pracheen sabhyata’ had managed to invent those mythological airplanes millenniums ago.

This is the age of education without barriers, an era of universities without geographies. You would agree that we will not gain anything by breeding a generation that fails to make the transition from our schools to the top medical colleges of the world simply because they were told that gau muthra had more medicinal value than a course of antibiotics!

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Press Release – Statement about PM’s Teacher’s Day Address

Modi chalisa———————————————–
For Favour of Publication

We are disturbed by the circulars issued by the CBSE and other authorities dealing with different systems like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Directorate of Education, Delhi, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, etc. asking schools to make arrangements to ensure that all the school children across the country listen to the Prime Minister’s address to the children in their school premises on the occasion of Teacher’s Day on September 5.
It is an extraordinary and unprecedented step in the history of school education in independent India. Not only does this order treat children as passive and captive elements who do not have a view of their own, it also violates the international convention of Child Rights which says that children have a right to form opinion and therefore they need to be asked whether they would like to be part of such an extra-school activity beyond their usual school hours.
Although the MHRD has clarified verbally that this is a voluntary activity and not binding on the schools and children, yet the written orders by the authorities are still in vogue asking the schools to furnish the status report by 2nd September and remain prepared for surprise inspections in this regard. Moreover schools are being asked to spend from their own resource pool which in itself is very poor and inadequate. The resources identified for school related activities are sought to be diverted for an extraneous activity, not intrinsic to the curriculum.
The Prime Minister is taking over the day, which belongs to the teaching community and pushing them off stage. This attempt to hegemonize social spaces needs to be condemned and resisted. The Prime Minister is not the Teacher-in-Chief of the country and he should leave the children alone.
We demand that the orders issued in this regard be withdrawn immediately and the solemnity and gaity of the day be left untouched.
1. Apoorvanand, Delhi University
2. Mukul Priyadarshini, Miranda House, Delhi University
3. Prachi Kalra, University of Delhi
4. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore
5. Jenny Rowena, Dept of English, Miranda House, University of Delhi
6. Hany Babu, Dept of English, University of Delhi
7. Dvijendra Nath Kalia, University of Delhi
8. Firoz Ahmad B-8, Neelkanth-1, Burari Main Road, Sant Nagar, Delhi
9. Ira Singh, Deptt of English, Miranda House
10. Preeti Chauhan, Lakshmibai College
11. Om Prakash, Zakir Hussain Delhi College
12. Ashu Threja [email protected]
13. Radhika Menon, University 0f Delhi
14. Naveen Gaur, Dept. of Physics, Dyal Singh College, University 0f Delhi
15. Dr Yasser Arafath, Dept of History, University of Delhi
16. Asmita Aasaavari, CORD, New Delhi
17. Abha Dev Habib, Physics Department, Miranda House, University of Delhi
18. Nidhi Seth, Delhi
19. Nandini Dutta, Miranda House, University 0f Delhi
20. Nidhi Gulati, University 0f Delhi
21. Sadhna Saxena, CIE, University 0f Delhi
22. Prabhat Kumar, Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education, Delhi
23. Tultul Biswas, Bhopal
24. Dr. Rohini Hensman, writer and independent scholar, Mumbai
25. Dr) Jairus Banaji (historian, Mumbai/SOAS London
26. Kasim Sait
27. Manisha Sethi, JMI
28. Sanghamitra Misra, DU
29. Rahul Govind, DU,
30. Tanweer Fazal, JNU
31. Mona Das, DU
32. Ahmed Sohaib JMI
33. Aparajay, student from MIDS, Chennai
34. Mohammad Imran
35. Nivedita Menon, Professor, JNU
36. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Feminist and Human Rights Activist, Bombay
37. Nandini Manjrekar, TISS, Mumbai
38. Smriti Sharma, University 0f Delhi
39. Senganglu THaimei, Dept of English, Miranda House, University of Delhi
40. Shweta Sachdeva Jha, Dept of English, Miranda House, University of Delhi
41. Parul Bharadwaj, Dept of English, Miranda House, University of Delhi
42. Yemuna Sunny, Eklavya, Hoshangabad, MP
43. Tanvir Aeijaz, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
44. Janaki Nair, JNU
45. Janaki Rajan, Jamia Millia Islamia
46. Sukla Sen , Mumbai
47. Shrenik Mutha, MKSS, Rajasthan
48. Yemuna
49. Mukul Dube, Delhi
50. Kiran Shaeen, Journalist,Delhi
51. Nasiruddin H Khan, Journalist, Delhi
52. Dr. Manoj Kumar Jha,Professor and Head’Department of Social Work
University of Delhi
53. Kasim Sait
54. Dinesh Patel, Eklavya, Bhopal
55. Uday Kumar, Professor, Department of English, DU
56. Firoz Ahmaed, Delhi
57. Reyazul Haq, Writer, Delhi
58. Aamir Edresy, President, Association of Muslim Professionals
59. Tejaswini Niranjana, TISS, Mumbai
60. Vineet TiwariGen. Secretary, Madhya Pradesh Progressive Writers Association
61. Mohammad Imran
62. Dhwal Jaiswal, Researcher, Delhi University
63. Sandeep Dube, Ellavya, Bhopal
64. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore
65. Shabnam hashmi, social activist, Delhi
66. Amir Rizvi, a Common Man

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