x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Cleverley needs time to shine

Readers defend Manchester United's Tom Cleverley over his poor record at the start of the Premier League season. Other topics: education in the UAE and the Indian legal system.

Readers say Manchester United's Tom Cleverley (foreground) needs time to reach his full potential. Jon Super / AP
Readers say Manchester United's Tom Cleverley (foreground) needs time to reach his full potential. Jon Super / AP

Adec right to take its tough stance on school fees ...

Extra fees at school are unfair say angry parents (September 2) touched a raw nerve with many parents.

Education and academic performance are serious matters for parents. For schools, the money-making aspect of education is most important.

Schools have fancy facilities, colourful classrooms, play areas, basketball and netball courts, and an impressive list of extra-curricular activities to lure parents. This is a case of style over substance.

When it comes down to what really matters, the reason why parents hand out such hefty sums of money is the academic performance of the school - and, in my experience, many schools are failing this test.

Many parents find themselves spending hours with their children teaching them the basics of maths and literacy - concepts they should have learnt at school.

Poor academic performance, falling grades and gaping holes in children's knowledge are of greater concern to parents than a 25-metre swimming pool or a premium indoor gym.

The steps taken by Adec against the British International School are timely and commendable.

Name withheld by request

... but we're not all dissatisfied

I am the parent of children at the British International School Abu Dhabi, and I have found its communication with parents to be open and honest, including on the subject of fees.

I am very satisfied with my children's education both academically and socially.

I was disappointed that your articles presented the views of a vocal group of individuals as the views of "the parents"as a whole.

J Elder, Abu Dhabi

Cleverley needs time to shine

I refer to your article assessing Manchester United's Tom Cleverley, Strong as your weakest link (September 3).

It is silly to say that Cleverley is overrated.

He only needs the correct team environment to thrive; he needs a player to work beside him and provide what he lacks.

Cleverley needs a mobile and hard-working midfield destroyer, and Michael Carrick cannot play that role. Some of Cleverley's best performances were in the 2011-12 season, when he was positioned in midfield next to Anderson or Darren Fletcher.

Steven Gerrard is one of the best midfielders in the game and has a wealth of experience, yet when he was Cleverley's age he only managed six goals in 45 appearances.

Should they have sold or cut Gerrard for such a poor return? Remember, too, when Chelsea's Ramires was considered "average"? Should they have sold him?

Cleverley is still young and developing in a United side that is in transition. Even Sir Alex Ferguson said he has "fantastic promise".

Let's give him a few more games, hopefully beside Marouane Fellaini, before we write him off.

James Taylor, US

Cleverley is only just 24 and already one of the best midfielders that England has to offer.

However, he is generally not played in the attacking position that made him so adored at Wigan.

Goals and assists are not all-telling in a player's statistics.

Three games into a new season is not the time for sacking members of the team; it's a time to get behind them.

Name withheld by request

Verdict on Indian courts too harsh

While I do understand the feeling of disgust expressed by the writer of Indian system too lenient on rapists (September 3), it is unjust to call the verdict "unfair" and the judicial system in India a "mockery".

The courts of law cannot go beyond the facts and circumstances of the case, the charges framed and the provisions under the relevant laws.

In the case under discussion, one of the accused happened to be less than 18 years of age and had to be tried under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, which lays down a maximum punishment of three years.

This has already given rise to a debate on an amendment to the act lowering the age to 16, which some people think will be counterproductive.

I believe an amendment should be introduced to make an exception in cases involving sexual abuse, assaults and other sex-related crimes; the rationale being that one who is capable of committing these offences is an adult.

CS Pathak, India