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Whither Golf Links

Editor,

The Shillong Golf Course, popularly known as “Golf Links” is one of the major landmarks of the city of Shillong. A legacy bestowed on us by the British, it went on to acquire many accolades- “The Gleneagles of the East” being one of them. It attracted may a Golfing Elite, both National as well as International to its fold. Sadly, today, Golflinks, Shillong has lost its sheen; many golfing enthusiasts have now shied away from playing in this course, citing unplayable conditions. Among one of the many reasons it seems is the heavy inflow of visitors, both local and from outside which has led to difficulty in the maintenance and upkeep of the course. The streams running thorough a part of the  course, formerly designed as water canals, are now blocked with plastic litter. Every other day, especially on Sundays and holidays, the Greens of the Course are subject to Football Matches, thereby damaging the grass and making the area of the course slushy and swampy and thus making it difficult for golfing.

Walking in the Golflinks in the summer season is no longer “A Walk in The Park”. The mushrooming of hawkers, coupled with haphazard and uncivil double parking on the roads around the Course, has led to severe traffic congestion, especially on the weekends. A fact, unthinkable and unimaginable, even a few years ago! The Lady Hydari Park (or Phan Nonglait Park as we call it now) and “The Ward’s Lake” are also gifted to us by the British. They are still now, beautiful and pristine. Maybe it is because of regulated entry? And occasional security? One feels, that as citizens of the city, we need to do a rethink on what to do with the Golf Course. Should we abandon it and let human nature do its waste or should discipline be enforced on us citizens. Should this come from the keepers of the Golf Course? Or from the Government?

Yours etc.,

D Phira,

Via email

Problem of untrained teachers

Editor,

The news item ” SSA Untrained Teachers” (ST Sept.10, 2018) has revealed that about 81 per cent of the teachers in the primary and upper primary (77 % and 85 % respectively) are still untrained. This is a very serious matter; in fact it is a crime to allow teachers to teach without properly and adequately training and equipping them. It is a crime because the careers of the school children are being ruined by untrained eachers How do we expect teachers to teach if they do not have the know- how, the tools and the capacity to teach? This injustice being done to school children cannot be tolerated and is therefore unacceptable. Hence, efforts ought to be made by the Government and private teaching agencies to ensure that all teachers in the primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary levels  are adequately trained and also exposed to regular refreshers courses to update teaching methods according to the need of the time. It is useless to cry foul that the quality of education in the state is in a mess. Moreover, teaching agencies like the DIET and NOIS  which are entrusted with the job of training and coaching primary and upper primary teachers ought to go through a robust screening process to ensure that their capacities and methods of training are not obsolete. Every profession needs trained and efficient professionals, how much more the teaching profession!

Yours etc.,

Philip Marwein,

Via email

A day in the life of a 1st semester student

Editor,

Through your esteemed daily I would like to familiarise the reader with certain things I’ve observed in the campus and on the way to the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) known as the University with potential for excellence.  First of all it was difficult for me to get admission into this University. After the final semester exams I suffered from pneumonia and had to take time off to recover. However, that did not stop me from preparing for the entrance test for admission to the PG programme, in one of the departments of this prestigious University. The entrance was challenging but fair, and the teachers of my department were fair and open about the admission procedure. When I was informed that I was selected to the programme, I was over the moon and I couldn’t wait to start classes. The admission procedure was detailed, comprehensive, and thorough; the way it should be and when everything was done I was able to attend my classes. Now, here’s where things got a little tricky.

The experience was definitely different from the college experience. The syllabus was different and vast, but that is expected. Hard work was expected. However, another difference that was glaring, at least in my opinion was the fact that not all the faculty members were punctual and regular. During college my teachers always entered the class on time, and took the lessons for the entire period. Of course, I’m not insinuating that the same format of lectures or instructions be given, considering that in the University students have to put in much more effort on their own to learn independently. But the issue is not about the lectures, it’s about punctuality and more importantly, regularity of classes.

It pains my heart to say this other thing, but it has to be said. The bus service provided by NEHU is essential and convenient, especially for students who travel to the University on a very limited budget. What hurts my feelings, and my feet, legs and back is that the NEHU scholars are transformed into bags of potatoes every morning and evening, on their way to and from the University. The buses are cramped and there is little room to move, and breathe. It is uncomfortable and dangerous, especially when students try to get into the bus in the evening, pushing and shoving their way inside. Now there are many buses parked in the campus and so many students are looking for their ride home, the fare for which has already been paid by them , so why are the buses not employed to do their duties?

The problem of traffic jams in the city should not necessarily jeopardize the NEHU students. Alternative routes and routines would go a long way in easing the traffic congestion and the plight of students at the same time.

Apart from these main problems, NEHU is a nice place to be in. The library and the staff are dedicated and kind. It’s also a place where one can learn coexistence.

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

 

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