Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Whiter quality education?

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Editor,

I often hear people say that Shillong is the educational hub of North East India. But are our educational institutions here imparting quality education to our students? Or does this fame come only because of the nice school or college buildings we have? As a person associated with teaching, I am aware what happens inside many classrooms. From the first day that classes commence until the final examination day, a large section of us are busy telling our students what topics are important for examination; what type of questions are asked from a particular topic etc. We are giving notes to students (which can be directly reproduced by them in the examination) so that they do not have to read a book. Many teachers are so ‘helpful’ that they give separate notes for the same topic, to use them in answering questions with different marks. Teachers give full credit when they see that students are reproducing from the notes they have supplied. From the first academic session to the last day students are busy preparing for examination. So they do not have the time to learn in the actual sense or they are not taught how to learn. All we are doing is spoon feeding them! Our students become handicapped, because they never learn the subject. They are taught only the questions and answers. No matter what percentage of marks they score but when they ultimately appear in an interview or entrance exam they cannot perform well due to lack of conceptual clarity.

Now students are in the midst of their exams and one can see them running after teachers for ‘suggestions’; most of them will be busy collecting past year’s question papers and predicting what questions may come and they study only those ‘important’ chapters. No doubt our students are good in predicting questions as they learn that ‘art’ from their teachers. Teachers are now busy collecting and reading old question papers so that they can pick up questions to make this year’s question paper (can’t we make fresh questions each year which will demand at least some critical thinking from the students?). This is the quality of education we are providing our students. The need of the hour is a change in the mindset and attitude of the teachers; otherwise our educational institutions will remain abortive degree-holder producing factories.

Yours etc.,

Devajyoti Bokolial,

St Anthony’s College,

Shillong

 Wanted the truth on Leshka

 Editor,

Meghalaya does not need Anna Hazare or Kiran Bedi to show the evils of corruption. We have many examples in our state. The harbingers against corruption like Ardent Basaiawmoit, RG Lyngdoh and a host of others are but a few examples of giants in the fight against corruption. I also congratulate Barnes Mawrie, SDB who exposed the corruption in the Leshka hydro project in the article: ‘Meghalaya’s incubus named Leshka’ (ST Nov 15, 2011). The article clearly brought to our notice the inefficiency and mismanagement by the MeECL to implement the project on time. I fully agree with the writer when he says that Meghalaya has earned a notorious name of being a state of ‘incomplete projects’, be it a centrally sponsored project or a state-owned project. The Meghalaya House in Kolkata is another example of an unfinished project with huge time and cost overruns.

The very fact that Ramen Deka, the BJP’s MP in-charge of Meghalaya expressed concern over alleged irregularities in the Leshka project is a clear sign that something fishy is going on with the project. It would be a shame for the state if the irregularities were to be taken up during the discussion in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Barnes Mawrie has rightly pointed out in his article and the general public too is aware of the stinking situation surrounding the Leshka project. Unless we accept the fact that what has gone wrong has gone wrong, we will only find scapegoats, make excuses that sound technical and avoid responsibilities. Let us resolutely pledge ourselves to expose the evils of corruption that are eroding our society.

Yours etc.,

Bivan R. Mukhim

Shillong – 8

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