Kudos to your editorial titled, “Bracing for climate change” (ST, April 18, 2016) in which you rightly said, “We need to see more earthquake proof structures coming up instead of concrete monsters”. In fact, it should be made mandatory to construct buildings that can absorb the shock of earthquakes to a greater extent. The rooftops of these buildings should be fitted with necessary equipments to produce solar energy. Solar is a clean and safe energy and in this point it scores over thermal and nuclear variety. India is blessed with abundant solar grace. So, we need to use this renewable energy as far as practicable. All schools, colleges, offices, buildings should be encouraged to use their rooftops to tap solar energy to generate power to meet their demands. Government should see to it that these institutions get necessary solar equipments in easy monthly Instalments. They can easily pay back the EMI and maintain those equipments with the savings from electricity bill. Switching over to solar energy in a phased manner will go a long way to check power cut, power theft, thermal power plant pollution, nuclear power plant hazards, centralization of power generation, depletion of fossil fuels, expenditure on electricity and global warming. It is time to build green, eco-friendly buildings and to make the existing buildings greener. These eco-friendly buildings will produce green and clean solar energy, give some space to green trees and have structural plasticity to stomach tremors.
Do we need entrance exams for colleges?
The Class XII results are yet to be declared but applications for entrance test/exams has already been declared in most colleges with fees ranging from Rs 200 to 300. I can see the worrisome look in most students. They have had a difficult time writing their exams, and now they have to struggle with getting admissions and that too without knowing the subjects in which they have done well. Without a mark sheet, how can they decide as to what course combination they will take. Isn’t this a brisk business for the colleges nowadays. I would humbly request the Education Department to study this aspect in depth and come out with a solution for our student community. Manipulative tactics should be stopped outright. I just want to share a few things for the parents and teachers to ponder.
The first problem with college entrance exams is that there is discrimination in many of them. The tests discriminate against the poor and the disadvantaged. Sometimes deserving students are kept out if they cannot do well in the test. It is a proven fact that high family income is correlated to high test scores. Families that have a higher income can pay for their children to do after school test prep classes and have private tutors. Is that a fair way to judge who should get into a college?
Another issue with college entrance exams is they put too much stress on students. Knowing your entire future can ride on how well you take one test is a lot of stress for a 17-18 year old student. How can a single test decide the intelligence of the student ? Another issue on top of that is test anxiety. Not all students can handle the stress of taking even normal everyday tests in the classroom, let alone a test that will determine the rest of their lives. Too much emphasis is being put on these tests. There are other ways to measure a student’s intelligence.
Parents should come forward and do something about this ongoing problem with our education system in Meghalaya.
Reward N Rymbai,