fifty years ago November 23, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (November 23, 1971): Myopic directive(From an Editorial)

Various correspondents to The Hindu have criticised the order of the Tamil Nadu Director of Collegiate Education to the government colleges that they should not hereafter appoint teachers who do not have a degree from a university in the State. The reason given is that it is necessary to maintain high standards, thus carrying the implication that all universities outside this State have lower standards. This order is issued at a time when university education in Tamil Nadu has been criticised for deterioration in standards. The universities have taken note of this criticism (which is partly based on the poor performance of students from the State in the all-India competitive examinations) and are trying to upgrade the syllabus for the degree courses. Much of the resistance to modernising the syllabus both for schools and colleges comes from the teachers themselves who seem to be unwilling to make the effort to brush up their knowledge of the subjects they teach. Seen in this context, the Government’s directive is extremely short-sighted. As one correspondent has pointed out, college authorities will be justified in appointing second or third-rate staff merely because they have local degrees, in preference to much better qualified men from outside. And these “outsiders” may actually be Tamilians who have been educated elsewhere! It is possible that the real reason for this directive is the Government’s anxiety to reserve as many posts as possible for Tamilians in a period of widespread unemployment.

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