Biased schools and soap opera addiction – The New Indian Express

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By Express press service

Trust the Mint
Have you ever had to take your Rs 10 coin back because the trader said it was not legal tender? Yes or no, even a high-ranking politician, who runs a gas station on the outskirts of Alangulam town in Tenkasi district, believes in the worn-out hoax. The occupied berth on Ambasamudram Road stopped accepting the bi-metal coin from customers as the owner of the berth suspected its authenticity. Until recently the berth had put up signs saying “10 rupee coin not accepted”. After some created an unpleasant scene, the panels were removed, but the room still remains a no-no. RBI’s repeated statements about its legal status appear to have fallen on deaf ears

victory march
Lately, the men of Anna Arivalayam, the headquarters of DMK, are faced with a dilemma. Dozens of party men from across TN are heading to Teynampet’s office, and they all want to remind party leaders of the promises made to them at the assembly and local polls. Apparently, the party’s top brass had negotiated with the local leaders, fond of dissent, by securing them key positions within the party. But, those who won on the party ticket do not move an inch by abandoning their posts. Such a long game of chess it’s going to be, isn’t it?

Biased schools
Three years after the Tamil Nadu government ordered redeployment of excess teachers to schools that are in dire need of staff to meet the required student-teacher ratio, the imbalance is still visible across the state. Many schools in Tirunelveli district, for example, are operating with more teachers than needed, while many others are stretched thin. Some block-level officers in the school education department apparently collect a monthly ‘fee’ of Rs 1,000 from teachers to retain them at the same school, we were told.

Blame the screens and the soaps!
Are cell phones and soap operas making school children obsessed and ruining their future? Geetha Jeevan, Minister of Social Welfare and Women’s Empowerment, thinks so. After recently handing out free bicycles to 16,498 students at a ceremony at a private school in Thoothukudi, the minister said many students were addicted to their phones and TV series. For girls, in particular, the unethical use of cellphones has been a worrying concern, she said, and asked them to be vigilant and not fall into “traps”. And the boys, then?

The right of veto
Three councilors dominate a planning agency as large as the CMDA. High officials are forced to toe the line of what the three men arbitrarily decide. They are young and enthusiastic, graduates from foreign universities, but lack experience in working with planning agencies or even with the state. Most seniors are annoyed by meetings that take place regularly and are featured on social media. But no one has raised concerns so far just because no one wants to ring the cat.

(Contributed by Thinakaran Rajamani, S Godson Wisely Dass, C Shivakumar and S Kumaresan. Compiled by Maneesh T)

Trust the currency Have you ever had to take back your Rs 10 coin because the trader said it was not legal tender? Yes or no, even a high-ranking politician, who runs a gas station on the outskirts of Alangulam town in Tenkasi district, believes in the worn-out hoax. The occupied berth on Ambasamudram Road stopped accepting the bi-metal coin from customers as the owner of the berth suspected its authenticity. Until recently the berth had put up signs saying “10 rupee coin not accepted”. After some created an unpleasant scene, the panels were removed, but the room still remains a no-no. RBI’s repeated statements about its legal tender status appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Dozens of party men from across TN are heading to Teynampet’s office, and they all want to remind party leaders of the promises made to them at the assembly and local polls. Apparently, the party’s top brass had negotiated with the local leaders, fond of dissent, by securing them key positions within the party. But, those who won on the party ticket do not move an inch by abandoning their posts. Such a long game of chess it’s going to be, isn’t it? Biased schools Three years after the Tamil Nadu government ordered the redeployment of excess teachers to schools that desperately need staff to meet the required student-teacher ratio, the imbalance is still visible across the state. Many schools in Tirunelveli district, for example, are operating with more teachers than needed, while many others are stretched thin. Some block-level agents of the Department of School Education apparently collect a monthly “fee” of Rs 1,000 from teachers to retain them at the same school, we were told. Blame the screens and the soaps! Are cell phones and soap operas making school children obsessed and ruining their future? Geetha Jeevan, Minister of Social Welfare and Women’s Empowerment, thinks so. After recently handing out free bicycles to 16,498 students at a ceremony at a private school in Thoothukudi, the minister said many students were addicted to their phones and TV series. For girls, in particular, the unethical use of cellphones has been a worrying concern, she said, and asked them to be vigilant and not fall into “traps”. And the boys, then? The right of veto Three councilors dominate a planning agency as critical as the CMDA. High officials are forced to toe the line of what the three men arbitrarily decide. They are young and enthusiastic, graduates from foreign universities, but lack experience in working with planning agencies or even with the state. Most seniors are annoyed by meetings that take place regularly and are featured on social media. But no one has raised concerns so far just because no one wants to ring the cat. (Contributed by Thinakaran Rajamani, S Godson Wisely Dass, C Shivakumar and S Kumaresan. Compiled by Maneesh T)

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