Good teacher, bad teacher

| Updated on February 04, 2018

Teachers deserve a fair deal — and that’s not happening

There’s a plan to enhance teaching quality through training, among several other projects, and the budget of the National Education Mission has consequently been upped by just ₹3,000 crore to ₹85,010 crore (barely 2 per cent of GDP). But what about salaries? When will they get a boost?

It is no secret that school teachers are among the lowest paid professionals in India, never mind that teaching is considered a ‘noble’ profession. Government appointees are in a somewhat better position than those in the private sector. On an average, a government school teacher may draw anything between ₹20,000 and ₹40,000 a month. The figure is far lower in private schools, and often, the amount you sign for is not what you actually draw.

Then again, their job is not just to teach, but also to fill in as census workers, election officers and so on. Do we have any idea what it is like managing a bunch of 30-40 small (or teenage), energetic (lethargic), mischievous (hormonal) children of disparate temperaments and varying levels of personal and academic capabilities? Every day? For several hours a day? Not to speak of carrying their work home to read and assess and grade, and set new tasks and prepare new lesson plans, all the while trying to implement the Government’s (and/or the management’s) every new training module? And deal with their emotional, social, and sometimes economic issues too? All this fitted into an already packed working day. And this is just scratching the surface.

Granted, there are good teachers and bad teachers, but that’s not the issue here. It’s the burden of unrealistic expectations without expectation of fair financial compensation. Teaching is probably the most ‘valuable’ profession because it directly concerns the coming generation, but it is the least valued, both by governments and citizens. If you have had one teacher who showed you the light, that is reason for giving teachers a good pay packet.

Sandhya Rao Editorial Consultant

Published on February 04, 2018

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