Sunday, 28 June 2009

Plagued Aided Schools of Delhi

Delhi is home to a large number of Aided Schools. The concept of Aided Schools is that they are run by Managements, and Charitable trusts. The Management pools five percent of the salaries of the staff, while the Government pools in ninety five Percent. The Management or the trust becomes the appointing authority for the Aided School. Unfortunately this system doesn't seem to work very well for the Staff or the employees. Salaries are delayed as a matter of routine. Rarely does the staff get their Salaries on time! When the department is contacted about this problem, they pass the buck on to the Management or the school administration. Aided Schools are entangled in red -tapism, which involves preparation of Bills, and sanctions which have to be deposited in the department on a specific date. All this time the school is held to ransom by some petty clerk who is never at his seat, and he is a person with an inflated ego! I wish the powers be take a more compasssionate view regarding the problem of delayed salaries in Aided Schools. If nothing can be done, then perhaps the only solution would be to scrap the system of Aided Schools and either convert them into Government schools, or Public schools! Teachers in Aided Schools are more likely to stagnate than their brothers in government or public schools. The frustration of stagnation is further aggravated by the frustration of never getting salaries on time.
The only solution to these problems can be arrived at only if the Government gives 100% grant or aid to aided schools in Delhi. Also there should be a better system of checks and balance on the roles of the Principals in Aided Schools, because it has been seen that in many Aided Schools, the Principals are prejuduced and rather dictatorial in nature, handing over favours to their favourite staff members.
The problem of seniority has not been done away with in Aided Schools.There are cases where the senior most teacher is not made the principal. Favouritism on the part of the Management may help make a less eligible person a Principal. The Act branch is not very forthcoming about the criteria of seniority in Govt.Aided Schools of Delhi!
Another area where more needs to be done is to make appointments of staff members more transparent in Aided schools. It has been noticed that favouritism, and pecuniary considerations may result in the appointment of less deserving candidates in Aided schools. Political pressure, pressure from pwerful lobbies and many other harmful factors affect free and fair appointment of teachers, and other staff members in Aided Schools!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Stressed Students in Delhi

Today more than ever, our students are subject to stress more than ever. They are expected to overachieve by parents and the society in general. Every parent expects his child to be a Chartered Accountant, or an engineer, or a Medical Doctor. Often such expectations are unrealistic, and expose students to great stress, which is in the long run harmful to the student. After school, the student goes for tuitions. He has hardly any time for rest. The result is that the student is exhausted and hardly able to stay awake in the class in the school. Often, more importance is given to coaching classes than to classes in school. In the photograph above, the student is so exhausted that he is forced to take a nap in the classroom! What then should we do? Perhaps, we need to introduce vocational courses and perhaps delink merit in class twelfth as a criteria for getting admissions into various courses.

Today the cut-offs for getting admissions into various institutions are shooting skywards. Performance in entrance exams should not be made the sole criteria for getting admission into various courses.Popularising diploma courses, introducing attractive vocational courses should be another option. In any case, we need to delink marks achieved in the board classes as a sole criteria for admission. What is more important today is to identify talent in students, identify aptitude, and make education a joyful process rather than a task for students. We need to identify individual talent in students, and guide them about the careers they can follow in life. Marks are not the only criteria for success in life. Learn to appreciate the tremendous potential in each student. Each student is a power house of potential.

Unfortunately, the demands of a life which is subject to information surfeit, and multitasking, it is very difficult to fight stress! Societal pressure, peer pressure and the need to come up with magical results has meant that the students would be stretched beyond their limits.

Friday, 19 June 2009


At the In Service programme which took place in the Tulsi Nagar Govt. school, we learned about the importance of inter-personal skills. We also did a lot of role playing, and of course did some yoga and some light exercises. It was a good platform for teachers to come together and share their views!
I am standing at the far left. On the day the photo was taken we were taught to make compost from kitchen waste.

In this photo is resource person, Madam Surekha Chawla, in pink prior to planting a seed.
In the photo on the right is resource person, Mr.Chandershekhar Singh, planting a seed.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Gateway of India and the Taj Hotel


The Gateway of India and the Taj hotel, are both icons of Mumbai and of course the whole of India! The Taj Hotel on the left corner of the photo was targeted by terrorists. However the Taj is a symbol of a resurgent India!  


When I visited Mumbai on the 26th. of May, I observed that it was not as clean as it used to be! The water was stinking, the waves brought in dead fish and garbage. Finally Global warming and Pollution seem to have caught up with Juhu!


The rich and the famous in Mumbai park their luxury yachts off the Gateway of India!


The Kanheri Caves near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park are two thousand five hundred years old.The Budhist influence is evident everywhere.The caves have cisterns which were used in ancient times to collect rain water! What a technological marvell! That too two thousand and five hundred years old!