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Krishna Kumar
Articles by Krishna Kumar

Teachers missing from higher education reform

The higher education system is in a fragile state today. Many of its strengths and attainments have been frittered away.

Students sitting in a single room at Government Primary Smart School, Kundanpuri (Manish/Hindustan Times)
Published on Jul 21, 2024 11:57 PM IST

Capturing curriculum to sculpt young minds

All schools are passionate about shaping young minds. Popular ideas and ideologies actively use schools to intellectually sculpt young minds

Mumbai, India - June 15, 2024: Children enjoy on the first day of school at Madhavrao Bhagvat High School, Vile Parle in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jun 19, 2024 02:20 AM IST

Educating the ladies, an update from Bollywood

Not many film scripts have shown a village girl opting to walk away from her marriage in less than a week.

Laapataa Ladies (Jio Studios and Kindling Pictures)
Published on May 01, 2024 10:07 PM IST

Kota machine exposes underbelly of education

The stigma of failure and the loss of precious years of early youth take their invisible toll — both on individual lives and on the nation.

Faith in the Kota machine runs across north and central India, in district towns and villages (MINT)
Published on Sep 06, 2023 09:41 PM IST

Opinion | Our education system needs to be rewritten

Public universities and colleges across all three states, where new governments have taken over, need immediate attention on several fronts, starting with faculty appointments and revamping of admission procedures and pedagogic routines.

Education and health infrastructure are in appalling shape in the countryside. The gains made in enrolment in primary classes have proved to be of limited value because of serious shortage of worthwhile secondary and post-secondary education.(HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 29, 2019 07:58 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

How education can affect our socio-cultural milieu

Schools must train students to critique cultural issues and practices. Our education system is weak in this respect

The Sabarimala controversy can be a good topic for encouraging critical pedagogy in a senior secondary class, but the treatment of such a topic in a school textbook must be nuanced and capable of engaging the young(PTI)
Updated on Nov 23, 2018 06:54 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Let the Kathua rape victim be called by her name

A Scheduled Tribe girl’s right to grow up with dignity and receive education has been violated. The least we can do now is to remember her by name rather than call her the eight-year old gang-rape victim of Kathua as the NCPCR desires

Delhi University students protest against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, New Delhi, April 16(Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Apr 18, 2018 07:05 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Science learning must not remain a memory drill

A basic change in science teaching in schools is required to improve the dismal situation where ‘theoretical practicals’ is becoming the norm. One way for this is to make provision for hands-on experiments at the elementary stage itself

The outcome of a practical is fully known before the practical starts. There is no challenge or excitement involved in taking the required steps and arriving at a predetermined conclusion. Perhaps the only gain, when a practical is done honestly, is that children learn to handle the equipment(Getty Images)
Published on Mar 30, 2018 12:24 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

What ails India’s higher education establishment

The only education policy we have is the 1986 document approved during Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership. Three decades have passed, but the reluctance to discuss the implications of economic liberalisation in education continues. At the same time, the educational space has fully opened up for private investors of all shapes and sizes. Under the circumstances, we can reasonably ask: ‘Who needs a policy in education?’ People surely do, but it is not clear whether the government does.

Half a century ago, the Kothari Commission had recommended that India must spend 6% of its GDP on education. The country is far from reaching that goal(Praful Gangurde/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jan 12, 2018 04:43 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Why I fled Delhi — a city I called home for 45 years

The tipping point reached in the winter of 2014. One morning, the smog was so dense and visibility so poor that during my morning walk I bumped into a tree I had known for years

Children cover their faces with masks due to dense smog, New Delhi, India, November 12, 2017 (Sonu Mehta/HT)
Updated on Dec 17, 2017 10:55 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Ryan student murder: Why installing more CCTVs cannot protect our children

Technophiliacs claim to have both immediate and long-term solutions to offer. So, while more CCTVs is being offered as an immediate step to improve children’s safety and security at school, a long-term policy is also being pushed. It consists of police verification of all school staff—including guards, peons, ayahs, even teachers.

The Ryan incident offers a peep-hole into the hazy normalcy that envelops the routine of school management.(HT)
Updated on Sep 29, 2017 10:55 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Why exams like JEE, NEET are not good enough to test students’ aptitude

S. Anitha, who committed suicide because she did not make it through NEET reminds us how exhausting and irrational our selection procedures are. In principle, NEET and JEE are good ideas as they make multiple state-wise tests unnecessary. But conducting a professionally competent standardised exam is nothing less than a fantasy today.

Chennai: Loyola College students during their protest demanding justice for Anitha and urging the Central government to ban NEET, in Chennai on Wednesday(PTI)
Updated on Sep 12, 2017 10:52 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Children should not be made into activists to fix the failings of the system

Quick acceptance of a demand voiced by children also distracts attention from the deeper crisis the system is facing. Children’s civic awareness and activism can hardly compensate for the absence of a sense of responsibility among authorities.

Taking a cue from the success of Rewari school girls, the students of a government school in Kadarpur protest outside their school demanding upgradation in Gurgaon, May 2017(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 28, 2017 08:57 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

AAP’s midsummer night’s dream has failed, especially in Delhi’s schools

AAP’s first attempt at running Delhi lasted 49 days. In mid-February, 2014, when Arvind Kejriwal resigned, many were disappointed but few were disillusioned. This is why the dream mustered a second run, a year later. Political circumstances were tougher this time, but the AAP dream came back with stunning passion. Two years on, the memory of that victory fills the mind with a sense of loss – of time and faith.

The defeat of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the recent municipal elections in Delhi marks the end of an unusual dream.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 15, 2017 12:00 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Many universities neither encourage divergent views nor permit dissent

Both society and State have adopted a cynical attitude towards liberal ideals like institutional autonomy and freedom to think. In this situation, we are tempted to isolate the violence that erupted in a college in Delhi or the gagging of opinion that occurred in another.

Students from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University shout slogans as they march behind a banner during a rally in New Delhi on March 4, 2017(AFP)
Published on Apr 04, 2017 11:58 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Don’t make the Class 10 boards compulsory once again

If the Class 10 board exam becomes compulsory once again and the ‘pass-fail’ system returns to the elementary classes, we should not feel surprised, but we have every reason to feel sorry. This will not be the first time that the attempt to soften India’s exam culture would have failed.

The exam system acquired its present shape in the latter half the 19th century. Insulating teachers from the evaluation of their own students was meant to give an impression of fairness. The world has moved on, but we remain stuck to the exam culture we have been used to.(HT)
Updated on Dec 20, 2016 01:06 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

HTLS Column by Krishna Kumar: Our education system must address our needs, not of others

By aggregating a diverse country such as ours, we lose sight of the problem our system of education faces

By aggregating a diverse country such as ours, we lose sight of the problem our system of education faces(HT Illustration / Jayanto, Sudhir Shetty)
Updated on Nov 30, 2016 10:05 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Taking a great leap backward

HT Image
Published on Aug 04, 2016 07:34 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

The new child labour law will pull children out of classrooms

The new child labour law will make the RTE a pleasant memory and the plan of extending it to Class 10 a silly dream. It will also take the last shred of substance out of the rhetoric of India’s demographic dividend. India’s vast population of adolescents and youth will now serve as an army of semi-educated workers available at low wages for low-tech industries

The new child labour law allows children to work in family enterprises after school hours, a provision that will pull the daughters of poor parents out of school(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Aug 03, 2016 11:39 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Through Dalai Lama, one rediscovers Buddhism

The Dalai Lama’s presence in India has shown the way for the Tibetans to live without strife, writes Krishna Kumar

The Dalai Lama’s presence in India as the leader of the community provides an explanation for the coherent and purposeful life it has led for over half a century without frustration.(HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 22, 2016 08:45 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByKrishna Kumar

India’s ivory towers: Why our universities are so vulnerable

University administrators cultivate political kinship and forget that progress in knowledge depends on questions the young ask

JNU students marching in support of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. Our universities are plagued by a throng of administrators who seem to value political kinship more than cultivating independent minds.(Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)
Updated on Feb 23, 2016 11:36 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Modern pedagogy the way forward: Inclusive schooling makes the grade

Sanskriti School’s goal of excellence by having mostly children of senior government officers is a pre-modern idea.

Many Western nations achieved greater inner cohesion because common schooling softened the boundaries between classes and cultural groups.(Representative image)
Updated on Feb 03, 2016 01:00 AM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

A common schooling system would bring us together as a society

The idea of having a common school system as a socially cohesive move is just as significant as its reformist assumption, writes Krishna Kumar.

Updated on Sep 03, 2015 09:58 PM IST
None | ByKrishna Kumar

Slow erasing of the teacher: Higher education is being undermined

Our higher education system is being undermined at many levels by steps that are misconstrued as reform, writes Krishna Kumar.

Updated on Apr 06, 2015 06:16 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

End war against teachers

Teaching is the heart of education, and that is where the crisis has hit India hardest. Teachers find no place in India's modern economy and urban landscape, writes Krishna Kumar.

HT Image
Updated on Oct 03, 2014 03:14 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

A fine line to tread for the law in juvenile crime and punishment

The most glaring deficiency of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) is that it is gender-blind. The law on juvenile justice must be redrawn so that petty and serious crimes could be differentiated, writes Krishna Kumar.

Updated on Jul 24, 2014 10:16 PM IST
ByKrishna Kumar

Female employee sues Yahoo exec for sexual harassment

The complaint alleges that Zhang coerced Nan Shi to have oral and digital sex with her on multiple occasions in California and told her she would have a 'bright future' at Yahoo if she had sex with Zhang.

HT Image
Updated on Jul 13, 2014 02:11 AM IST
Reuters | ByDevika Krishna Kumar

It’s primary evidence

Delhi University will award aspiring elementary school teachers a diploma in two years. This move undermines the Right to Education Act, writes Krishna Kumar.

HT Image
Updated on Jan 27, 2013 09:58 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByKrishna Kumar, New Delhi
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