Status of Teachers and Teaching in Indian Education System
This hub presents the view of the author alone and does not intend to hurt anyone. Also, this does not have any connection to any individual or organization.
I had this opportunity to attend a workshop on English Language Teaching in the British Council. I was actually hesitant to attend the workshop, but, at the end of it, it was quite fruitful, including, being the source of this hub, if one can call it fruitful.
The workshop being a training for English Language, I had the opportunity to meet English Teachers from different schools. I was alarmed by the fact that, 75% of the participants could not talk 4 sentences continuously, leave alone the many many errors in grammar and pronunciation. I do not claim I am an expert in English, I have my own flaws, naturally, English being a foreign language, but, the fact that English is replacing every other language everywhere, definitely calls for good English teachers in schools.
Statistics claim that the standard of English of the graduates who get into the corporate world is not up to the mark. The workshop gave me a fair reason for this situation. With around 4 years of my time spent in an Information Technology (I.T.) company, I often noticed that young men and women with poor communication skills in English find it very difficult to get adapted to the corporate culture.
If the English Teachers in schools do not teach fluency and accuracy in talking/writing/speaking how will the kids grow up with good command over the language? It was really sad to see a few teachers who had degrees in English and Teacher Training, could not convey their ideas fluently in English to other participants.
This really provoked my thoughts and I realized that the teachers alone could not be blamed for this. Let us now analyze the reasons for this pathetic condition of teaching of not only English but any subject for that instance.
Let us consider the issues with teachers:
1. With most students pursuing Engineering and entering I.T, there are very few smart and able students around, to opt for teaching.
2. Those who opt for teaching fall into the following categories predominantly:
a. Few, who actually have a passion for teaching
b. Many mothers/home makers, who like to pursue teaching as a hobby in their free time - can go to the school with children and come back
c. Graduates of B.A or B.Sc who could not find any other suitable job (they would have opted for that degree, in the first place, just because they could not get into engineering colleges)
d. Some, who feel that teaching gives a sense of job satisfaction and that, it is ideal to manage family as well as work
It is deeply disappointing to realize that the teachers who belong to the last 3 categories do not care about giving their best to the precious children. Instead, they concentrate on other trivial issues like the politics in the staff room, gossiping about each other, dressing up and all other "not-school-related" issues.
3. Apart from teaching the subject allotted, teachers are loaded with a lot of other activities in school, which can be an administrative work or related to extra/co-curricular activities. This adds a lot of stress on them and it gets reflected in their actual work - TEACHING
4. Teachers being one of the most important part of a community, with the future of an entire generation in their hands are not treated with due respect in anyway. The respect and regard that a teacher used to get 2-3 generations back are totally lost now. This is a major setback in terms of motivation for the teacher
5. Most schools have become corporates too, in terms of the money they make and hence are forced to do a lot of things, which are totally not necessary, just to build a great reputation for the school. This takes its toll on teachers and hence they lose attention and concentration towards teaching morals and other values.
Let us now consider the other side of the story:
1. Teachers do not get salary proportionate to their efforts, which is the most tragic part. We already know how disproportionate the pay is, in the I.T Sector. This low pay-scale is a major reason for many to reject teaching profession. As a teacher, I do not earn even one-third of what I was getting in the I.T industry, but, have triple the work load!
2. Schools/Boards have this rule of taking in only candidates with a B.Ed (Bachelor in Education) degree. The B.Ed story is a vicious circle. The eligibility for B.Ed application is two years of teaching experience and to become a teacher, you require a B.Ed degree! This puts down other candidates who are actually passionate about teaching
3. With population explosion, there is a school in every road, but, there are not many qualified teachers available and this forces the schools to recruit any Tom-Dick-or-Harry with a relevant degree. There is no adequate training given to these teachers and hence the effectiveness is lost.
With a general decline in morals, children do not get basic values from parents, who are too busy running behind money. or teachers, who are too busy completing the syllabus. This results in producing an entire generation which do not have moral values intact.
In the process of education, do the children at least get well versed in the concepts? The answer again is a BIG NO, as teachers go in a path which is very much result oriented. English Language again is taught like other subjects and children do not learn the art of communication - written or spoken.
Pregnant mothers start thinking about joining the child in a school, even though they have 3 whole years in front of them. This exactly explains the current situation of education. With education becoming a costly affair and schools turning to be a status symbol for parents, what is that the children are actually getting out of the schooling? This requires a lot of thought and there is a definite need for a change in the system.
All said and done, we do have dedicated and enthusiastic teachers, who mould and build great citizens for the country. Hats off to them and their great job.