“Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire”, wrote the Irish poet, WB Yeats. It is not only the education laws that need to be consigned to the dustbin, but it is the entire education system which also needs to be completely overhauled. Over the years, India has tried many approaches to improve the quality of school education, but looking at the dismal picture of school education across the nation, it seems we are still experimenting. The government started the no-detention policy to ensure that every child studies upto Class VIII without any stress of examinations. This has failed as everybody, right from teachers, students, and parents did not take it seriously. Probably, this system was meant to be implemented in government schools to cover the poor results. There is no point in promoting weak students. In fact, neither it is the fault of the youngsters nor the parents; actually, we don’t have a holistic education policy. If there is one idea that can change the nation, it is improving the state of education and revamping it with emphasis on skill development and research apart from nurturing innovation, diversification and expansion. The root misery is budgetary allocations—at present, about 3.3% of the GDP—against a requirement of 6%.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh
Samajwadi Party: All’s not well
Apropos of the report “All is well in SP: Mulayam” (FE, October 26), this expression truly echoes the deep-rooted frustration of the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh over his son’s—also the chief minister of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh—non-conciliatory and highly adamant attitude. It is ironical that the all-powerful Mulayam has been rendered helpless like never before by his own son. He has, so far, failed to barter any peace between his brother, Shiv Pal, and Akhilesh—both are now publicly grinding their axes. The tussle is making a mockery of democracy apart from being an own-goal for the party. Such a deplorable situation does not augur well for the global image of Indian democracy. The bigger question now is: Who’s the real boss? Though Mulayam desperately tried to put up a brave face and also claimed that “All is well in the family and Samajwadi Party”, the facts on the ground tell an entirely different tale. This war between the uncle and the nephew must urgently end. Otherwise, the SP may soon be writing its own political obituary.
Kumar Gupt, Panchkula (Haryana)