Thursday, January 24, 2008

Teaching A Noble Profession ?

The word TEACHER still brings to my mind the picture of a person who is dignified, knowledgeable, kind and at the same time firm, one who is passionate about teaching and one who loves children. When we were studying pre-school paper in our college we had to describe the qualities of an ideal teacher and believe me there were many. Infact the qualities were so vast that finding such an ideal person I think is so very difficult.

When I read in the papers that a particular teacher has been awarded the "Best Teacher" of the year award it sets me thinking that maybe that person must have been one of the ideal teacher that we have, who must have made a lot of difference in atleast a few children's life.

On the other hand we also hear about the so called teachers who bring shame and disgrace to this noble profession by meting out unheard of punishments which snuffs the life out of a little child sometimes or they bear the scar for the rest of their lives.

Teachers are the soul of any school and only if they are respected in all ways will the school flourish. But every where that I see the story is the same. Teachers are paid pathetically and the school feels that they can let go of a good teacher and hire someone else if she or he demands more. There is such a shortage of good teachers that they have become a rare commodity now. Teachers are hired just to fill vacancy that arises which is very high these days irrespective of the fact that they are not qualified in any way and do not have any experience in the teaching field. Infact they cannot communicate or put their thoughts across in a way that children understand.

Every year as the new academic session starts don't we all parents hope and pray that our children should be lucky enough to get good teachers? Because believe me a teacher can make all the difference in our future decision making in a large way.

I have come across this lecturer who made what we thought were boring subjects like chemistry so interesting . Her love for the subject and her passion for a subject like chemistry had us also take interest and at the end of the academic session all of us scored so well and attendance was suddenly high. How I wish there were more teachers like Mrs. Shakuntala.

These days because of the call centres which have attracted a lot of youngsters what with attractive payscale that is offered (though it is bringing in a different culture which is altogether a different story) many graduates will ofcourse gravitate towards it. So now it is mostly a few of them who opt for teaching profession or it is left to those mothers who like to work or earn a little as it is convenient to get holidays along with the children as they cannot take up the regular nine to five job or the hectic pace of work in private sectors or MNCs.

I remember before I joined my college as a lecturer I was looking out for a job and someone told me that a person is opening a playschool. So me and my freind went there and I found this person did not have a clue about starting a school but had decided to open it for the lucrative business that education has become. I left wondering if these are the kind of people who are opening schools then god help all our future generation. We will not have any future C.V.Ramans,nor Jagadish Chandra Bose or for that matter our very dear Abdul Kalam.

As summer vacations approach we all get to see huge hoardings of different new schools claiming international education, or some such tall claims. Is it so easy to get permission to open educational institutes? Will the government just not think how sacred and how much of commitment is required. Do they even check if the person who is planning to open a school is aware of the kind of education we need to give children? Can they not increase the payscales and make it so attractive that more and more people will undergo teachers training programme which ofcourse should cater to today's situation? If only they upgrade the infrastructure of existing schools and pay their teachers well, i see some hope. Otherwise good teachers will be an extinct specie and teaching will no longer be a noble profession.