Making teaching profession attractive

Much has been talked about a child’s school bag burden. However, little has been done to reduce the burden on the harassed teacher who has to work against odds to do a good job on a pittance of salary. The size of the class varies from twenty-five to sixty and managing a large class full of noisy children, day in and day out, is no mean task.

The teacher does not the luxury of punishing the children because corporal punishment is out and even mild punishment might get a teacher into trouble. So he/he has to put up with a nerve-racking forty-five minutes to sixty minutes of a class period as best as he/ she could.

During all the din, noise, and distractions, the teacher is expected to teach the children whose attention span is limited. To demand that a teacher should be innovative considering many problems he/she is facing day in day out is asking for too much. That’s why, given the pressure of completing the syllabus in time and preparing the students to secure good marks, innovation takes the backseat in any educational institution.

The syllabus for the various classes and subjects is not user-friendly. Quality has been sacrificed for quantity and so there is always a pressure on the teacher to complete the syllabus as early as possible, an impossible task anyway. Each teacher is expected to give a number of tests, weekly, monthly, and assess the work output of each student which means valuation of papers takes time either at the school or at home, thus disrupting the normal life of a teacher.

Since students are expected to take part in various external activities like participating in picnics, parades, dances, cultural programmes, debates and sports events, studies suffer. Moreover, the teacher is expected to accompany the students during any outing, which puts an additional burden on him/her.

Whether a teacher likes it or not, he/ she is expected to take up invigilation work during public examinations. Then there is the public examination paper valuation work, which is almost compulsory. Teachers are regarded as a vast pool of workforce to be utilised for all sorts of work – from enumeration of voters to working in polling booths on a pittance of allowance. There is some realisation that teachers should not be enlisted for election-related work but this goes on officially or unofficially.

Important jobA teacher is expected to think that his/her work is of great importance as he/she is dealing with young minds. His /her main function is to inculcate values in the children and prepare them for the role of responsible citizens of the future. A student has to think independently and judge for himself/herself what is good for him/her as well as the community at large. While advanced countries are spending more on education, our government is being step-motherly when it comes to allocating funds for education.

If there are not good teachers in a school/college how we could we expect students passing out of a school/college to be outstanding? We need to look into the compensation package for teachers to attract bright talent who could take up teaching, a truly noble profession as it shapes future citizens of the country. Teacher certification/re-certification is another issue that needs attention so that teachers stay up-to-date in their knowledge and skills.
 There are now many educational tools waiting to be used to aid teaching and make it more informative and entertaining through Internet, videocassettes, and educational films. We need to look into the aspect of reducing a teacher’s burden so that he / she has more time to interact with the students so as to make the lessons informative, educative and entertaining too. This is an opportunity for our planners to do something positive that would benefit immensely the future citizens of this great nation.

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