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It is important for teachers to learn the right lessons first

The report Who will teach the teachers (October 16) rightly pointed out that the curricula for teachers’ training must undergo a sea change to improve our quality of education.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2009 23:45 IST

It is important for teachers to learn the right lessons first
The report Who will teach the teachers (October 16) rightly pointed out that the curricula for teachers’ training must undergo a sea change to improve our quality of education. A lot is expected from teachers in government schools, but no one seems to be bothered about their working conditions. There is a need to engage with schools and universities, in a concerted effort to re-design training programmes as uninformed change that is dictated from the top is not enough.
SK Wasan, Noida

The new killing fields
We express our horror at the Centre’s intention to launch a large-scale armed offensive against Maoist insurgents. Such an operation will necessarily extract a very serious and tragic human toll. It is clear that the government is motivated by a desire to protect the interests of big business — which wants to exploit the mineral-rich regions in which Naxalites operate — and crush opposition to such exploitation. We are shocked that the government is willing to put its own citizens through tremendous tribulations to do this. We also find the killing spree by the Maoists deeply disturbing. The gruesome brutality of beheading an abducted police officer in Jharkhand is particularly distressing. In principle, we oppose the torture and/or murder of people in captivity, and the killing of all non-combatants. We call on the State to urgently look into the grievances of the long-neglected people caught in the web of insurgency, and to stop using the alibi of insurgency to suppress all democratic mass struggles for legitimate demands.
Colin Gonsalves, Anand Patwardhan and others, via email

A dangerous divide in Pakistan
With reference to the editorial Shooting itself in the foot (Our Take, October 17), it is the divide between wealthy Punjabi and poorer non-Punjabi Muslims that is behind the trouble brewing in Pakistan. The recent series of suicide attacks in Pakistani cities merely indicate the helplessness of the Pakistani government in the face of a resurgent Taliban and other jihadi groups. This portends a bleak future indeed.
P.P. Talwar, via email

The State’s selective approach
With reference to the report Maoists destruction hurts poor, says PC (October 16), it is time we realised that mere sloganeering will not solve the problem of poverty in areas afflicted by State injustice and misrule, which have created conditions ripe for Naxalism. It’s a shame that while the government is quick to take credit for development initiatives, duly financed by taxpayers, it continues to disown responsibility for the rampant corruption and lack of governance in these areas.
JN Bhartiya, Hyderabad