“I am so glad Rajat sir that you want to choose teaching as your profession and even happier to hear about your passion for teaching. Your students would be very lucky to have such an intelligent and passionate teacher like you.”
“Ha! Thanks junior. But I tell you something. Whenever I tell somebody that I want to pursue in this field as teacher, they raise their brows at me. ‘Aren’t you getting good job offers?’ is their first question. I mean how is it that a CSIR-NET qualified pursuing PhD from reputed institute in India and having offers for the same from abroad across the globe not getting good offers? This saddens me a lot.”
His reply dumbfounded me. From a nation of ‘Gurur Bhrama’ to ‘aur kuch nhi to teacher sahi’ the transformation in mind-sets is terrific.
So, how did we as a country, end up at such a stage where teaching as a profession lost all its respect? Why is that for most of the people taking teaching as profession is just out of their inability and helplessness in finding any other so called ‘high-standard’ and ‘prestigious’ job? How is that we the youth have reached a stage, wherein most of us have this profession at the bottom of our priority lists? Why do we not find us longing to be teachers like we yearn to be engineers or doctors? Why it is that teaching has lost all its aura it once garnered?
NDTV on April, 03 2015 reported that nearly 3000 primary school teachers on contract failed to clear competency test TWICE in Bihar. And the moving fact is that the teachers were tested for knowledge of English, Mathematics, Hindi and General Knowledge up to class five ONLY! Moreover those who failed the test for the first time were given a second chance and still 3000 teachers failed!
Similar case was reported 2 years back in 2013. In an alarming indictment of the quality of training given to prospective teachers, over 99% aspirants failed to clear the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) 2012. Out of 79.6 Lakh aspirants who took the examination, only 55,422 managed to clear it.
Shocking isn’t it? I too had the same expressions.
Teaching is an exposed profession. Other careers have relatively less influence on people’s perception as teaching due its direct interactions. Almost no other career choice is all well-known and well understood as teaching is. Everyone has been through school and college so we believe we have an intimate knowledge of what teachers do. So the pros and cons of teaching as a profession are more readily at hand to anyone considering it as a profession.
It is a surprising fact that in the profession that builds up all other professions, the majority of students who enroll as faculties in educational institutions across the country are those in the bottom third or quarter of the cohorts admitted each year.
Few days back a friend of mine visited my place and asked my mum who is a teacher educator in a B.Ed. college,” Aunty, it must really be very interesting to teach would be teachers of the country.”
Her reply galvanised us both. She answered,” The condition these days of students being admitted into B.Ed. colleges is pathetic. They get enrolled merely to get a degree. Learning is nowhere in scene. They show up their faces in class hardly once or twice a week, some don’t even bother this much and turn up only for the exams, that too just as a formality to complete attendance. The word ‘passion’ is not even in their dictionaries. It isn’t that these pupil teachers don’t have caliber. It is just that they take the responsibilities of a teacher way too lightly. The thought that these students who pass and manage to get degrees only at mercy of their professors, would be teaching children in future, scares me badly!”
“Teaching is an easy profession. What’s so difficult in teaching something to somebody? Read from the book and translate to students. How difficult can this possibly be? What’s so big deal?” an engineer friend of mine working in an MNC narrated to me the other day. I don’t think he realised how shallow his words were. This is also a major reason why major chunk of students are swooned by high-intensity jobs and they look down with disgust towards teaching as profession.
So again the discussion brings us down to one main issue. Why isn’t teaching attracting intelligent and passionate minds?
I think we the youngsters while choosing our careers are driven by lust for status. Status in turn is influenced by power, money and fame. All other secondary factors like interest in teaching or having got skills for teaching, do not deliver status unless they result in high level of power, money or fame.
Talking about money, we all are well aware about the salaries that are paid to teachers. We here don’t include the ‘high profile’ coaching institutes that pay their faculty hell lot money (who are mostly alumnus of varies prestigious institutes who would not mind taking up a batch of an hour or so at being baited with lakhs of money, as part time job) just to attract students in their name, and hence only turn wheels in their own favours by charging the students manifolds.
Coming to power and fame, yes teachers have the power to influence their student’s lives by their skills. But in a country like India where the major concern of teacher is expected to be completing the course in time and having got all their students passed, certainly innovative mind thus don’t show much interest to take up teaching as their profession. Similar is the case with fame. Having lost to be able to generate money and power, this profession is hence under rated. So tell an aunt you want to become a teacher and be ready to be confronted with questions like, ‘kyun beta padhne mein weak ho kya, ki doctor ya engineer ki padhai nhi hoti?’
Of course we can’t change the mind sets of people about this profession so easily. But what we can do is come forward and take up teaching as a profession with equal zest and zeal as any other profession.
I won’t be ending my post lecturing anything telling how beautiful and responsible this profession is or other worthless stuff nor would I ask you to shun all your other aspirations and take up teaching straight away but I guess we the youth know our responsibilities already and know very well the directions in which change needs to occur! So let’s just take over and be the change!
Kyunki Akhir Hum Badlenge Tabhi To Badlega India!