Drawbacks of protectionism

Editor,

The diktat of the KSU General Secretary Donald Thabah to the powers that be to allow only local athletes to represent the state makes total and complete sense. Since when have we ever allowed merit, calibre and excellence to take precedence over ethnicity? If the rest of humanity believes that evaluation of a person’s worth be based solely only on issues like quality, calibre, worth and distinction, then the rest of humanity are fools. The KSU through its General Secretary most probably is simply giving vent to the popular slogan “Ha Ri lajong Leh katba mon”. It expresses as no other slogan can the mindset that prevails on those who claim to represent the academic standards of Khasi students. For those who do not understand Khasi, I profusely apologise for not being able to give the English translation of the above for the simple reason that it makes no sense.
But I digress and we need to come back to the instructions of the KSU to the Govt on how to run its Sports Department. In confusion and because I wanted to learn I looked up the dictionary and it defined sports as “a form of competitive physical activity”. Competition is stressed upon and is the key word and I became more confused. So if merit in sports is based on the concept of success through competition then how does it help our local Khasi, Jaintia and Garo athletes when the KSU demands the elimination of competition to ensure their success? Its oxymoronic. In school we were always reminded of the following “Most people fail in life not because they aimed high and missed but because they aimed low and scored.” So one can conclude that the brilliant advice of Donald Thabah of the KSU to our local athletes is to aim low. I rest my case as I have nothing more to add !
I can only conclude by concurring with the proverb that says “shut your mouth if you have nothing of value to say”. Nancy Pearcy the author said “Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly (in our case ethnic reservation) renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” One really hopes that it is not the intention of the KSU to prescribe mediocrity for our sports people. As it is the mediocrity that has taken root in Meghalaya’s academic discipline due to reservation has done more than enough harm to our students as most are satisfied and content with achieving only a pass mark. And then why ban the genuine non-tribal athletes of our state from bringing laurels, together I may add, with our locals who earn through merit to represent the state? My final request is for Heaven’s sake please don’t provide unnecessary ammunition for the likes of Vicky Dey to take pot shots and expose us in bad light to the rest of the world.

Yours etc.,

Maimai Diengdoh,

Via email

Heartbreaking demand

Editor,

The demand made by the KSU general secretary that no one from outside the Khasi Jaintia and Garo communities should be selected to represent the State of Meghalaya (ST Nov 21 2021) in sporting events is highly unfortunate and demoralizing. This demand appears to have been made without due consideration of all the aspects and also appears to have been made in a fit of anger. This is uncalled for and is not expected from a leader of the youth body. This demand for exclusion will adversely affect the morale of the youths of other communities besides tearing off the social fabric. We who are born and brought up in Meghalaya, love this state dearly. We surely want to bring laurels to this state in every field. Why is it that just before celebrating 50 years of statehood comes this demand for banning other communities from representing Meghalaya in sports activities? How will it benefit the student community? I hope the General Secretary of the students’ body will consider it fit to modify his demand soon. The slogan, “Sab Ka Saath Sub Ka Vikas,” has to be implemented in right earnest.

Yours etc.,

K Chettri

Shillong -2

A sincere request to NEHU

Editor,

The Education sector is the most devastated by Covid 19. While there’s no denying the fact that there is no substitute for a classroom with a teacher between the blackboard and the students, we but have no other option rather than to resort to online classes which have become order of the day. Leaving aside the unpleasant hurdles like the smartphone divide where only 8% of Indians can afford, plus the connectivity problem etc, online classes creates great disparities. Learning online is not deep and conceptual. The teachers involved in the class cannot predict the doubts in the minds of students without seeing their expressions.
Contrary to what people who are not in the teaching line believe, the teacher does do homework the night before he/she goes to meet the students. Teachers think of the right kind of materials to feed the students from daily life experiences to make the class lively and fruitful. This is true for all teachers irrespective of whether they are teaching KG classes, secondary or higher secondary schools, colleges or universities. Sadly, online classes lack these valuable advantages.
The other most serious issue right now is that online examinations have no invigilators to stop students from copying from text books or Google. An example is that of the impersonators caught during last NEET 2021 in Maharashtra.
What our children got through this online examination was dissatisfaction in all aspects. Many who take exams as sacrosanct which it should be, are victimized by those who couldn’t care less about the sanctity of the examination. They have everything in them to answer so much they could score 98%. Let me tell readers that two boys who topped during the Pre–Covid University exams failed to get seats in NEHU as admission was given to students appearing for online exams with inflated marks granted by their own professors who are more interested to admit into NEHU their students as well as to advertise their own colleges to attract more students.
This online exam defect that had victimized students is also felt in Delhi. Brilliant Delhites could not get admission to renowned colleges like Hindu College, Hansraj, Jesus and Mary College. Though they scored 98.5 in their subjects of interest, the marks secured were too less compared to the marks of students from Kerala, all of whom scored 100 %. So they had to move out of Delhi. This thus is a sorry state of affairs breeding victims of an examination pattern that lacks uniformity of evaluation and marking. Of course, two professors of Delhi colleges did console the Delhi girls and boys (TV discussion) that from next year, there would be a general entrance test for all students. But why not now as the entrance test is not going to buy time?
As a concerned parent, it is my sincere and humble request that NEHU authorities conduct the upcoming odd semester exam in offline mode since colleges have started offline classes and have even conducted internal examinations in the offline mode.

Yours etc.,

Marbianglang Rymbai

Shillong-2

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