Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Home India Let's reform our education system, starting with the teachers

Let’s reform our education system, starting with the teachers

By Harshmeet Singh

The fact that India’s education system needs reforms has never been a subject of debate. While some point out at the inadequate education budget, others blame a non-existent infrastructure in government run schools. However, very few talk about the single biggest factor that influences the student outcomes more than anything else – teachers.

While teaching is a highly respected and revered profession throughout the world, it doesn’t quite command the same admiration in India. Except the teachers employed in coaching centers for competitive exams, teachers in general are lowly paid. Apart from the dismal pay cheques, a number of other factors including no safety of tenures and no incentives further aggravate their situation.

According to a World Bank report, about 25% of the teachers in India skip school each day. Additionally, only half the teachers engage in teaching! While these numbers seem gloomy, they fail to highlight the exceptional effort put in by some teachers who are making a real difference to the lives to their kids.

A number of reports cite lack of teacher accountability as a reason for the teacher’s disinterested attitude towards the students’ learning. And ever since the ‘no-fail till class 8th’ rule was applied in schools, even the slightest of teacher accountability has evaporated. With no incentives on offer, motivating the teachers to give their best in the classroom every single day is a big problem. One of the primary reasons behind such lack of motivation is that there are very few teachers in India who actually wanted to be teachers. Most of them chose teaching since it seems like a safe and non rigorous option having fewer working hours than most other professions. What they dodn’t realize was that as teachers, they will impact the country’s future much more than any other profession.

It is high time that passionate teachers enter our education system. This can be ensured by offering attractive perks so that the best talent of the country looks at teaching as a suitable option.

The exam conducted to fill in the vacancies for teachers only has a written test. This implies that your skills of delivering a lecture or understanding the child’s psychology do not matter at all if you wish to become a teacher in India.

While jobs such as Bank PO and an assistant in a desk job at a ministry require personality tests, there is no personality test for recruitment of teachers! This speaks a ton about how much importance we lay on the quality of teachers in our government schools.

But all the blame can’t be solely put on the teachers. Teachers in government schools do not get paid for months. A 6 month lag in their salaries is a common phenomenon. And this trend is visible in almost all the states. On top of that, the teachers are expected to perform all the administrative paper work (which is a lot in government schools) in the school hours itself, consequently eating up all the teaching hours!

I once attended a seminar where the speaker, trying to encourage the teachers attending the seminar, said that the external conditions like infrastructure don’t matter, and all that matters is the will to teach and the will to study. While almost everyone nodded in affirmation, I could never digest it. Imagine 2 kids, with one sitting in an AC classroom and the other sitting in a makeshift room covered by metal sheets at the top with no fan. Who would have a better concentration to study? Would you rather write your exam dripping in sweat or in a comfortable room? The fact is that external factors such as infrastructure play a crucial role in the child’s learning. Most of the government-run schools in the country lack the very basic infrastructure such as a roof to cover the classroom, adequate number of table and chairs, fan, lights and more. Unless these issues are fixed, it would be unfair to expect the teachers to suddenly raise the learning levels of students. India currently stands at 143rd in the world in the rankings of countries’ spending on education as a fraction of their GDP. Unless this number improves, a drastic improvement in infrastructure can’t be expected.

Teachers are the creators of a country’s destiny. Unless they are nurtured and pushed the way they should be, it is difficult to imagine our education system taking a turn for the better.

STAY CONNECTED

18,992FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,781FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Here’s How you can Manage Flu at Home

The monsoon has begun, and while it brings relief from summer heat it also brings perils of humidity. With the rain showers comes the...

Top Selection Criteria for a Voltage Stabilizer

In our power grids, voltage fluctuation is a common phenomenon. But it also is a concerning one as it can harm sensitive electrical appliances...

Dalai Lama Turns 85, Tibetans Dedicate Year 2020 to him

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as Tibetan government-in-exile, on Monday announced to dedicate this year...

Here’s What to Expect When You Catch a Flight from the Airport

Hustling sounds, frequent announcements, savvy travelers glued to their gadgets, emotional families waiting to receive or see-off their loved ones-- it's perhaps the opening...

A Must have Adventure Bucket List

The worldwide lockdown due to coronavirus has brought a screeching halt to every industry, including the travel and hospitality. With restrictions on international travel...

Picture Perfect Living Room Decor Ideas

A cosy and comfortable sofa set, a coffee table for tete-a-tete and a perfect TV unit to keep the entertainment mode on, all these...

‘Covid’ Now the most Searched Word of 2020

The term 'Covid' - the commonly used shorthand for Covid-19 or Coronavirus disease caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus - is the top word...

Beauty of Indian Culture: William Dalrymple on his Experience Living in India

India is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations with the oldest culture in the World. The Indian culture varies like its...

Recent Comments