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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Some simple solutions to fix the Indian education system

Readers discuss education, journalism, trees and advice

A reader addresses the issue of infrastructure in India's schools. Simon De Trey-White / The National
A reader addresses the issue of infrastructure in India's schools. Simon De Trey-White / The National

The annual status of education report for India reveals that that 57 per cent of school-age children cannot undertake simple multiplication, 40 per cent cannot read the time on a watch and 58 per cent cannot identify their state on a map. In towns, the teens have similar serious issues. The lack of fundamental skills does not augur well for development.

Some suggestions to improve the situation include making mathematics a compulsory subject throughout schools, fostering regular reading in English or any other language, encouraging practical education at school and university, recasting the exam system to evaluate the creative skills of students rather than being a memory test crammed just before the exam, and encouraging extra-curricular activities, like public speaking and debating.

Students are spending inordinate time on digital apps like Facebook in towns and even in villages, which is impeding their all-round development.

Rajendra Aneja, India

Hearty congratulations to the winner of the university prize

I write in reference to your story Emirati academic wins the inaugural Arab scholarship to Oxford university (January 21). Rana Al Mutawa’s scholarship was bestowed on her by the efforts of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and the university itself. She will study there for a doctorate in Middle East Studies with a focus on Emirati culture. Kudos to Ms Al Mutawa.

K Ragavan, India

Old media need to learn some new tricks to survive

This is in reference to your business story There’s hope for journalism in the digital age, says Bloomberg’s co-founder (January 19). Media organisations need to stop indulging in sensationalism.

That’s why people have turned to YouTube and alternative media to access serious discussions of important topics and to find a diverse range of viewpoints.

Chris Reid, Dubai

We need to plant ideas and cultivate a gardening nation

In reference to your online story Emirati man donates 100,000 trees for Year of Zayed (January 20), what a great idea that is. This will help the country become more green. In Canada, we had a programme for buying seedlings cheaply and these were available for farmers to replant previously fallow land. Also, if we mulch the clippings and dead leaves we could make soil, so there are other potential benefits to this idea.

Sandy Donald, Dubai

I support this kind of action. Our hands need to be engaged in national beautification.

Ahmad Mumtaz, Dubai

Your expert is always on the money with her advice

I write regarding Can I renew the residency visa for special needs son after he turns 18?, January 20. I love Keren Bobker’s On Your Side column: she provides great advice every week.

Ali Chalkley, Dubai

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