From the Viewsroom

Where are the teachers?

Gayathri G | Updated on January 20, 2018

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No one’s joining the profession. It’s considered too downmarket

The school exam results are out and almost every topper wants to become a doctor or engineer. But why don’t young people want to become teachers? Has the profession lost the respect it once enjoyed? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Besides, the remuneration is not at all commensurate with the hikes in student fees. The workload is huge: cover a given syllabus in a trimester; conduct practicals/projects; make proper assessments to judge a student’s learning curve, analyse the data — all this without any professional development.

Today’s multi-tasking environment demands that a teacher play many roles — be role model, counsellor, parent figure, judge, and friendly too. All this for minimal pay!

Worldwide, there is a shortage of well-trained teachers. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, to achieve universal primary education by 2030, the demand for teachers is expected to rise to 25.8 million; India alone needs 3 million. In a rush to fill this gap, many developing countries, including ours, are lowering standards. The alarming state of teacher training in the country is reflected in the fact that the majority who appear for the Central Teacher Eligibility Test failed to demonstrate even the most basic knowledge.

Though policy guidelines such as the National Curriculum Framework 2005, NCF for Teacher Education 2009, RTE Act 2009, and the HR ministry's revised Centrally-Sponsored Scheme for Teacher Education paint a commendable vision of transforming the elementary education system, mission-mode efforts alone are not enough. There should be an eligibility test for teachers and a continuous evaluation system besides performance-based incentives and hikes. Only if these are implemented properly can we usher in achche din in teaching.

Chief Sub-Editor

Published on June 07, 2016

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