The editorial “Taking the stress out of schools” (March 21) was stimulating. There is a strong need to effect far-reaching changes in our education system at the primary, secondary and higher education level. Schooling should start when the child is mentally and physically ready to learn. It can start at the age of five, six or even seven. Till then, the child should attend a book-free, burden-less kindergarten, where learning is by observation. In school, there should be a gradual enhancement in the syllabus.

The syllabus should stress more on practical learning. The selection for professional courses should be based on students’ aptitude during schooling, and an aptitude test at the tenth or twelfth level. Let us strive for a board examination-free system, in which continuous assessment is done in the classroom.

Thangam Chelladurai,

Tirunelveli

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Richard B. Fuller said of the American education system many years ago: “What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed and paralysed so that by the time most people are mature they have lost their innate capabilities.” Over a period, the American education system has changed. But Fuller’s statement holds good for us even today.

R. Thirunarayanan,

Chidambaram

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The so-called stress begins in the elementary classes. Loads of books, homework, special classes and strict attendance are the present-day standards of schooling. Children do not participate in family functions and social gatherings as parents goad them to outscore others all the time, indulging in comparisons.

‘Read with concentration, prepare well for the examinations, write in a relaxed manner and do not bother about the result’ was the advice students of my generation received as against the totally different advice given by parents today. Finding a solution to the stress factor should begin at home.

Lalitha Rajagopalan,

Chennai