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We are passing through the most critical days of the Corona Virus pandemic. Thousands of people are infected by the disastrous epidemic, almost everyday. Physicians are struggling to battle the pandemic and save lives. Similarly, teachers are also struggling to take control of the situation and reach out to students through online teaching and counselling.
School students are the worst sufferers in this Lockdown. Since the end of March, this year, all educational institutions have been closed due the Lockdown. Initially the school children took the Lockdown as an unexpected holiday to enjoy with fun and merriment, but very soon they were bored and listless without school and started to be unruly at home. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop,’ it is said, hence it became very difficult for parents to control their children. Parents missed the immediate help of the teachers who cared for their children for 5-6 hours five days a week. While doctors fight to save lives of people, teachers fight to save the young generation from atrophy and moral degradation.
All the educational institutions have started online teaching. Though the efficacy of online teaching has not been assessed no one can deny that it could at least hold the attention of children and provide them with mental stimulation in this ultra-critical situation. Many are adjusted to the new system of learning. Those students deprived of the facilities of online teaching also took the initiative to find out from their friends the lessons taught, and the home assignments etc. As a whole, the students remain busy with online classes which are something very new and interesting to them. Teachers have the rare capacity to draw the attention of the students, irrespective of whether they are brilliant or average. Hence students attend online classes regularly. They know well that they should not miss the academic year. As a result the student community as a whole is somehow under strict discipline through online teaching.
In the same way, teachers who are often called the builders of the nation are sacrificing a lot to save children from the dreadful situation created by the Lockdown. The majority of teachers in India are not trained or used to online teaching, but under pressure they have equipped themselves to face the challenge and to help their students sincerely. Right from primary to high school teachers, all have laboured untiringly with the undaunted spirit of learning the new techniques to help their students. They deserve credit and applause!
It is true that, we acknowledge and celebrate doctors, nurses, health volunteers and other first responders who have worked hard during this pandemic, but the silent contribution of teachers remains unsung! We should acknowledge their services with gratitude. That will be their real reward and tribute on Teachers’ Day
Shillong – 4
Mall at PWD complex?
It is really bewildering that Government should moot the idea of constructing a mall at the PWD complex at Barik. I fail to understand the necessity of a mall, where Shillong is already having a number of malls. Even the existing malls are not having enough customers as there is no flow of tourists. There has been a tendency among the tourists to buy something from the place they visit. There are many other important issues of primary nature which have so far been neglected by the Government. Is the construction of a mall a criteria for making the city smart?
A prime area like this is best suited for a heritage site or a recreational park, which will attract both children and adults alike. This will not only add to the beauty of the area but also will benefit the patients who need fresh air during their treatment. They can even take a stroll if found to be fit for their recuperation.
I am totally against such an absurd idea of having a mall at Barik as voiced by our politicians and citizenry.
Of religious fundamentalism
While thanking The Shillong Times for allowing a range of issues to be debated and that is actually the role of a newspaper, it is sad to see the intolerant stance of those calling themselves Christians and who believe that there is no salvation outside of Christianity. They therefore look down on non-Christians as children of lesser Gods. The claim that about 76% of people in Meghalaya are Christians makes no sense because those among the 76% who are in government and administration today are not demonstrating their Christianity. There is corruption and maladministration not just in the present Government but since the time Meghalaya was born. Christianity should be demonstrable for others to follow.
What is appalling is the call for not allowing atheists or non-believers in any faith from starting educational institutions in Meghalaya. This is not what India stands for as a country. Good human behaviour, empathy and respect for the rights of others are not the attributes of Christianity alone. Other faiths also teach similar values. A follower of the Niam Khasi Niamtre knows right from wrong and understands that it is wrong to hate and to do violence to fellow humans. So those who preach the exclusivity of their religions/faiths should stop doing so. It is better to live and let live.
Unlock Question Hour
It is a matter of grave concern that the NDA government has postponed the Question Hour from the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament. This decision will set a wrong trend in parliamentary democracy and also affect state legislatures. Question Hour is devoted to questions that Members of Parliament raise about any aspect of administrative activity and the lacunae therein. The concerned Minister is obliged to answer to the Parliament, either orally or in writing, depending on the type of question raised. It is not a right move to postpone the Question Hour due to COVID-19, because the government has also restarted various economic activities during Unlock 4. Hope the NDA government reconsiders this decision and allows Question Hour. It will be helpful to sustain democratic values and beliefs of common people of the country.
Amit Singh Kushwaha,