LETTERS

Beyond rote learning

This is in reference to the news report “Dependence on teachers declining in

colleges” (THT, Nov. 21). As an educator for many years in a university, I am

saddened by the responses of students and lecturers in Nepal. Obviously, education does not come from the internet or just books, because learning is an interactive process. An

educationist is more of a researcher and theorist, while an educator is one who practices the science of teaching, interacting with students and encouraging the creativity and

exploration of the human mind. It is indeed a shame for any educator or

educationist who would consider rote, repetition and the internet as a medium of the learning process.

If students gather information from the internet instead of attending a class then the teaching has been ignored and the excitement of interaction and creativity that comes with learning has been forgotten. Professors in top universities often sit in colleagues’ classes to gain stimulus for their own work.

One of my colleagues trying to teach a Nepali teacher new methods of teaching was told that she made the students “too excited”. What a shame that Second Graders cannot get excited about making a clock to help them learn to tell the time. This teacher would rather have students learn by rote. It is time to allow students to have fun and be excited about learning

in Nepal.

Dr Nancy J Baker, via e-mail

Toilets

This refers to the editorial “Sanitary solutions” (THT, Nov. 21). Even after half a century of sanitation promotion in Nepal, 49 per cent schools and 10.4 million Nepalis are without latrines. While the government is mostly responsible, the hundreds of donor “advisors” who also control resources aren’t free of blame, either. The official responsibility for sanitation remains fragmented between the ministries of health and population and of physical planning and public works. Instead of working as change makers in the status quo oriented

governance of the country, they apparently remain oblivious of the community forest miracle achieved through devolution. So the question is: Are not donors keeping millions of Nepalis away from their latrines?

Bihari Krishna Shrestha, Chakupat Green Block, Patan

Opportunity

Apropos of the news report “Govt wakes up to Tarai crisis” (THT, Nov 21), it is a good sign that the government finally seems to have taken the Tarai crisis seriously. However, unless the political parties assume responsibility and mobilise support to bring the peace process to a logical end, the efforts made by the government are unlikely to succeed. The political

parties should take the government’s call for support as an opportunity to show their commitment for peace and harmony.

Sanjeev Dahal, via e-mail

Bitter truth

This is in reference to the Midway article “Hard times” (THT, Nov 20). I agree with the writer’s point of view that people who stay away from their own country, sooner or later, realise the great challenges in a foreign land. It always looks greener on the other side of the fence, though in reality it is not always so. I hence urge Nepalis to think twice before deciding to emigrate.

Shiva Neupane, Melbourne