Why Current Situation and social status of Teachers in India is deteriorating : Teaching is the most respected profession ever across the globe. In India, teachers are the highest social status from ancient times. But in recent years, the situation and social status of Teachers in India is getting worse.
Let me explain why I said so !!
Table of Contents
The situation of Teachers in Rural India
I come from a rural background. The only two professions which the maximum number of people go for is either Police/Army or the teaching. One of the reasons is the massive vacancy, and another one is respect in society.
People have massive respect for the teachers. But sadly the social status of teachers in India is deteriorating day by day.
They are bound to face new challenges every day.
Factors affecting the current status of Teachers in the nation
1.) Least Availability of basic resources
Indian teachers are provided with the least resources to comply with their jobs. They are not even offered sufficient numbers of Books, copies, or other stationary which is a necessity for smooth teaching.
And even with that scarcity, they have to prove their worth by producing extraordinary results. This doesn’t seems justified at all.
2.) Pathetic Infrastructure
Well, you must be thinking how come infrastructure is related to teaching, but it is. Just like a software engineer has no work without a computer, a doctor cannot work without a stethoscope; similarly, a teacher cannot teach without a full-fledged classroom.
You will be surprised to know that there are many schools in India where two or more different classes are conducted in the same room. Can you even imagine a 4th grader being taught in the same room as an 8th graded and that too together?
Even thinking that scenario will make you realise how chaotic and tuff that is.
Teachers are forced to teach in that condition with a pressure not just to manage the classes but to carve a good result from the students.
I won’t even touch the basic sanitation facility. It is such a torturous situation for the female teachers which cannot be even addressed. It seems inhuman.
Firstly there are no toilets, and if they are ( for namesake), they are not in the condition to even think of using.
3.) No proper exposure to the Internet and technology
How can a person imagine a life without the Internet these days? But Indian government schools still are not adequately equipped with the internet facility, nor the teachers have the proper exposure to utilise them.
We sitting in our AC rooms can blame the teachers for their incapability but think from there point of view.
Till date, they have been following the conventional method of teaching, i.e. from the blackboard, Pen and Paper method. Without proper education of the latest tech, how can we expect them to qualify to teach with the help of the Internet?
4.) Media Trials
The biggest reason why people question the teachers and not the system is the random Media trials. On any day, a media person who doesn’t find good news will bump up into any classroom and will start asking a maths teacher a dozen General Knowledge questions.
Interestingly a media person is someone who is covering politics and the country’s economy daily and will be knowing those things quickly. Even then, the questions he asks are from the Internet.
And he expects the Maths, English or a different subject teacher to answer his polity or economy based questions. People watch them and judge that they are incapable, and the situation turns into a mockery.
The very teacher who is respectable for those hundreds of students is torn down in front of them. Is it something which needs to be covered?
Is it because government schools are an easy target and they can easily malign any teacher and get away with that easily. If we think about it differently, they hamper the precious teaching time of the teachers.
Can you expect any media house to get inside all other Government Buildings/ offices of Political parties/ any PSUs/or any private office without proper permission? One cannot even get into the office of these media houses without permission and know what’s going inside.
5.) Growth of disbelief in the education system managed by the government
In the current scenario, people have developed disbelief in the government-run schools and the teachers teaching in those schools.
People treat them sub-standard ( which they are in reality ). But the worst sufferers are the students and teachers. Students don’t get the quality education which is their right. And teachers don’t get the respect and social recognition which they used to in past decades.
Major Reasons behind the inefficiency of Teacher’s in India
Yes, I accept that the many teachers in government schools are not that efficient these days. But they should not be blamed entirely for that. Let’s discuss that too.
1.) Non-uniform appointment and selection process
The process of selection of teachers in India is not at all uniform. You will find some teachers working on Ad Hoc basis, some temporary, some under contract, some regular and many more.
How come one can even imagine a uniform and robust education system with so much disparity in the selection of teachers. It is so confusing just to know the nature of selection and process of teaching accordingly.
2.) Uneven Payment structure
This issue is somewhat derived from the very first point mentioned above. With that much of a difference in appointing a teacher, there is a massive difference in salary slab.
Regular teachers are paid according to the grade pay, whereas contract teachers are paid an amount fixed by the government. Again the Ad-hoc teachers are paid by some other rule.
And above all, it is quite surprising to know that in some states, the government proposed to pay contract teachers according to the classes they take. That means if a teacher has just one class on a particular day, they are entitled to just 100 Rupees a day.
That is somewhat even lesser than a daily wager.
With such a small amount, how can a person perform with full efficiency, Can you?
3.) Untimely Payment
Yes, again, I am taking up the issue of Payment. It seems similar but is different entirely. If uneven payment structure was not enough, the teachers have to face delays in payments.
While researching, I was surprised to know that in many states, Payment of teachers is delayed for up to 5 to 6 months. Now can you feel the state of those teachers who are the sole breadwinner for their family?
How they manage to survive in that kind of situation is beyond my imagination. Yet we all just question those teachers.
4.) Engaging in Non – Academic work
Now, this is the worst cause I think for the deterioration of the Education System in India. Teachers working in Government schools are allotted non-academic works by the government itself. And they are bound to do such work leaving aside their primary job to teach the students.
Appointment of a teacher is totally for the academic works, Right!
Wrong, here in India, teachers are forced to carry non-teaching activities and who forces them – The state and central government.
Do you know that the teachers in India are assigned to all the random government programs?
From Ration Card verification, election duties, Population Census, Pulse Polio program, to even Cattle census, they are bound to perform these activities.
Are these teachers appointed to go door to door just to collect the cattle census or Ration card verification and other such works?
Even after performing all these duties, they are expected to provide an outstanding result in academics. Seriously ! is this a joke or what.
If the government had been serious at all, these activities could have generated a new set of employment opportunities, which they are struggling a lot in. But why pay extra if you have a bonded labour for every work.
5.) Politicised recruitment process
This reason is somewhat a tricky one. As I mentioned above, most recruitment which is witnessed in India is either in the defence sector or teaching. So, it becomes a vast ground for political achievement when showcasing the numbers.
But in the shadow of a quantity, less is focused on quality. I was surprised to know the whole derivation of the number of vacancies and how just attaining a B.ed degree without any knowledge and experience entitles one to teach.
Steps to Improve the current Education system and the social status of teachers in India
1.) Not Assigning the non-Academic work to teachers.
The first and the essential step to improve the current deteriorating condition of education and teachers is to stop assigning the non-Academic work to the teachers. Instead, appoint new people for them. It will also help in generating new job opportunities.
These works only hamper the steady flow of education and take out a considerable lot of energy which could have been invested to build a better road map for teaching.
A teacher can teach most efficiently if they are free to focus mainly on the study and not random works like cattle census.
2.) Regular and Rightful Payment
Let’s accept and face it that everyone works to earn his/her livelihood. The teachers are no different. They sweat and devote their whole life to building the nation. And in return, what they expect- A timely and rightful Payment.
They too have a family which they need to carry on their shoulders. With so much difference and such an irregularity in the Payment, how can a person perform his/her best?
I even believe that Teachers should be one of those who should be paid the Maximum in this country for what they work for – i.e. shaping the next generation of the country.
A proper and timely payment as a reward is always a good inspiration for better performance.
3.) A more uniform and timely Recruitment Process
I feel that there must be a uniform recruitment process for teachers in which quality should matter the most in place of quantity. With uniformity, I am not talking about the reservation system. If we even try to go that road, the journey won’t even start due to political reasons.
Rather uniformity in appointment means regularising the vacancy periodically and with standard qualification with a “Personality Test” made mandatory. This will form a basic funnel for selection of good teachers.
Also, there is a very poor teacher to student ratio in the government schools. Almost every school is lacking in the required number of teachers. This can only be addressed through timely recruitment process.
4.)Allowing the technical degree holders to apply for Teaching jobs directly
Yes, that seems a bit out of context but let me explain why. Many creamy brains in India are from technical backgrounds and want a respectful job. With decreasing job opportunities, their knowledge is left unutilised.
If they get a chance to opt for academic jobs with just their higher technical degrees and the recruitment examination, they can provide much better quality and help in building a robust education system. India can even tackle the situation of lack of required number of teachers in schools through this step.
5.) Making the basic knowledge of Internet mandatory
The e-literacy in India is certainly nowhere near the standards. You can refer to my article “Why are online classes for e-Learning in India struggling” for detailed information.
The lack of e-Infrastructure, digital knowledge among the teachers, cost of data and numerous other factors lead to a poor e-learning structure in India.
Thus, making the basic knowledge of the Internet and computer compulsory will help in enhancing the efficiency of the teachers to a whole new level. But that doesn’t mean to retire the older generation who have no clue of tech and computers.
A proper module should be made to impart the basic knowledge of computers to them too. This will not just make them updated with the current advancements but also provide them with a tool which would help them research more in their respective subjects.
Just think how much that would help in building a better education system with so much quality and knowledge.
Students are the upcoming structure of the nation, whereas the teachers are the pillars. But the current Situation of Teachers in India is worrying. This is the high time proper steps should be taken for the upliftment of the status and quality of the teachers.
India is the nation which is known for its rich knowledge, and the excessive deterioration in the education system is horrifying. However, several steps are being taken in this field but are not sufficient.
Governments both in state and center must ensure more share for the education and teachers in the annual budgets and must ensure that teachers are only allotted academic works. Also, proper resources and full-fledged infrastructure must be provided as well.
After all, we Indians know the importance of a teacher in one’s life is, and that’s why we have praised them always-
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu,
Gurur Devo Maheshwara,
Guru Sakshat Param Brahma,
Tasmai Shri Guravey Namaha !!
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