2nd July 2015
Dear Respected Chief Minister
It has been a little more than a year since you assumed the responsibility of being the chief minister of a new born state of India.
To give a report card is in the DNA of a teacher. So here is my report card to you.
With your own set of challenges, it looks like you made a mark of your own. People in Telangana seem to be okay with the novice governance.
As an ordinary citizen of this state ( TS), I am most happy with plenty of power this summer. I mean the electricity. No power cuts.
Dear CM, you seem to have just the right magic wand.
You get A1 for this.
Being a woman, I commend you for the SHE teams you created. Kudos.
Mission Kakatiya is certainly the need of the day. Imagine if all the 46000 lakes you plan to revive are flowing with water, Telangana is the new green state of India. Here is another A1 for this.
I appreciate the time you take to meet the people to understand their needs.
And when you meet people from other countries, I understand that you have to open up the market to create economic and employment opportunities.
Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard University commented that the culture and civilization of a place can be ascertained by the way it’s urbanites drive on roads or behave in public places.
Well roads were not great, traffic was equally worse, even before you had taken over. Therefore I won’t assess you in these areas. Moreover, traffic gets better when people have self - management skills and some amount of emotional intelligence and of course, civic sense.
It’s not your fault that you inherited a mixed group of people who are contributing to the economy and chaos at the same time.
In a new state, education is as important as economy. Development also means grooming qualitative human resources for the state. Changing times and an evolving world needs education of a different kind.
Literacy in China means writing nearly 800 words and in India it means skill to write your name. We in India have been focusing more on process of education than the purpose of education.
The goals of education in Japan are clearly defined. That all those who go through the realms of education should emerge with, harmony with self, society and nature’. Lofty goals indeed, but it gives clear guidelines.
I had the opportunity to interact with Dr Abdul Kalam and asked him the question on Indian goals for education system. Sagaciously he recommended that each school should identify it’s goals and work towards a larger purpose.
How about identifying goals of education system in Telangana ?
Imagine if every school in our state grooms children with a clear sense of the world and his or her role in it ! And every student can be empowered with thinking and analytical skills. We have no obligation to continue with the disconnected curriculum we have now, or reason to believe this is the best.
But we do have a pressing need to groom people with critical thinking and
We can very well do without the potential societal chaos when millions of narrowly educated generation make the human resource of our state.
Learning from effective models of governance is most ideal and you seem to be doing just that. You are looking at Japan and other countries for their best practices of governance and perhaps customizing them to our local context.
It is in this connection that I write to you dear CM. There are some good models of education not far from your office. In your state capital, there are schools and there are educators.
Just the other day we had a conference of school principals. More than hundred of us got together and discussed about what we can do to realize that famous quote of Swamy Vivekananda- “destiny of a country begins in it’s classrooms.”
This group of hundred plus are directing the future of nearly 1.50 lakh students in your state capital.
How I wish you were there to see our commitment!
In fact how I wish, you meet all of us and ask us to share our best practices with the schools in this new state.
In Singapore, the Prime Minister calls for a meeting of School principals once in every six months. To know what is being taught and what are the problems!
He also calls for a meeting of Heads of Universities to tell them the economic direction of the country and industry needs. This enables the universities to include courses which will create a workforce for the future of the country.
And look at their model of education.
They have two tracks from a secondary level. Those who wish to go for skill based schooling have an option just like those who wish to continue with higher studies. Interestingly, the skill based courses are those that the industry needs.
Employment immediately after schooling !
Do you think this could be a part of our school system ? It could be the perfect answer to all those languishing in some regions of our state with neither skill nor knowledge and at the end of the tunnel, nowhere to go.
Well I am not aspiring for our Honorable PM to call school heads for a meeting. But I certainly wish that you will be that path breaking Chief Minister who will meet with School Heads and discuss the educational goals of a new state.
We are a highly trained and experienced group of people with a rich harvest of achievers in character and competence.
We could be your supporting team to construct an innovative school education system in the entire state or may be just a group of people who will update you on essential interventions in schools.
It would be sad if our experience is limited only to a few thousands of students. After all our state has lakhs of students who deserve the best.
Our expectations are nothing but service to the nation.
The 29th State of Indian Union has the potential to be role model to the rest of the 28. You only have to make some choices and decisions to be the 1st Ranker in the entire country.
With Deep Regards
A Principal & An Educator
PS: My less formal language is owing to my belief that a chief minister is not only an official head but can also be an endearing leader.