Junior Editorial Team, Speaking Threads
Today, when I woke up, it was no different day beginning than the ones of the past. The headlines in all digital news web lines were slaughter of a Professor by a Student of the same university – The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a public research university in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, California, United States. Numerous sources acknowledged the victim in the UCLA murder-suicide as William S. Klug, the father of two young children and aged 39, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Professor Klug known to be brilliant and kind was allegedly shot dead by yet anonymous, Student as he was disgruntled with him for grades allocation. Later the said Student allegedly killed himself; perhaps he thought that his mission was accomplished (and so wrong was he in his perception).
The central questions, which need to be addressed at this moment are more critical than the ghastly incident itself.
With peer and other pressures of having better grades becoming more and more stressful, is there not a need for a compulsory psychological counselling and orientation within the schools and colleges?
Is it not that, the system of grading should be completely eliminated and a more practical approach towards successful completion of degrees and courses be adopted?
Is it not that each and every grading mechanism should be re-checked, confirmed and affirmed by at least 2 academicians and 1 senior student?
Grading is subjective, can we not have an objective methodology with student himself or herself involved in assessment (self-assessment)?
Finally, can we not ban guns unconditionally and absolutely from the student campuses?
With the two lives gone, the mystery will never be resolved as to what was the real cause of the trigger. The circumstantial evidence and the speculative hypothesis will lead to closure of the case as both the accused and the victim are dead. The accused could have been innocent (as he has not been proven guilty in the eyes of law – he is not alive to defend himself – maybe he himself was a victim of circumstances – the system itself). Whereas the innocent Professor was merely subjectively discharging his onerous duty. Little did he know that his subjective discharge would become objectively fatal?
Whatever be the real cause, there can be no doubt that what happened in UCLA on 1st June was most unfortunate and saddening. It rendered parents lose their child, wife her husband, children their father, siblings their brother(s) and friends their friends.
It is high time that schools, colleges and universities or for that matter any educational institution(s) reboot their approach to the methodology of impart of education.