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Primary education of primary concern

Out of the four newspapers that we receive at home, the Sunday Express is by far the best. In terms of quality of writing, printing and general readability, it beats the TOI and local papers hands down. I enjoy reading the various columnists in this paper. Today, Tavleen Singh’s take on primary education reinforced what I’ve been saying all along. Without a focus on our children, this nation’s going nowhere.

From her column:

Last week, while the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi were choosing ministers for the new government, I read a paragraph in The Economist that summed up in a few short sentences the enormity of India’s problems. It said, “About 27 million Indians will be born this year. Unless things improve, almost 2m of them will die before the next general election. Of the children who survive, more than 40 per cent will be physically stunted by malnutrition. Most will enroll in a school, but they cannot count on their teachers showing up. After five years of classes, less than 60 per cent will be able to read a short story and more than 60 per cent will be stumped by simple arithmetic.”

Isn’t this sad and depressing? What can we do to change this? Read the full column here. I’m off to gather some thoughts on the subject.

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