A new session begins. Teachers and students embark on new missions. Each year the challenges of the mission increases, the number of students increase but the number of teachers is not proportionately increasing.
Where are teachers? Society is not manufacturing teachers anymore. Everybody is becoming an engineer or a doctor or a business analyst. Nobody has the inclination to take teaching as a serious profession.
Teachers the noble people !!!
Teaching is the noblest profession! Obviously teachers have to be the most noble people, at least genuine people! So the teachers are expected to be noble, knowledgeable and caring people.
Certainly a lot of burden on this profession to fulfill the expectations of this loaded statement. I wonder why we don’t say the same thing about engineers or contractors or collectors!
Only teaching profession has a lot of responsibilities like inculcating values, developing knowledge and empowering the young people ! To do this onerous task who are the people getting into teaching in schools?
Who are these noble people????
In all the teachers of our country there may not be more than 15% of them who have taken up teaching as their first choice.
Some take up teaching profession because they need to share the financial burden of the household.
In this lot, we get good teachers and bad teachers too!
Good because they enjoy their profession more than the pay packet they get.
Bad, because pay packet is more important than their role as teachers.
Rest of them are either housewives who are relatively free during the daytime or people from rural areas and towns who take up BEd because it is one of the routes to get a government job. Housewives who take up teaching may enroll into part time, distance mode or external BEd to get a degree.
There is a new breed of teachers- Engineers, MBAs, MCAs and MS whose role as mothers restrain them to work long hours in a corporate job. Of course recession also has some role to play in this.
However there is one set of women who have successful personal lives and feel the need to make themselves useful to the society. Considerable contribution comes from this lot in terms of passionate teaching and commitment.
The 15% who take up teaching as a career are cosily tucked in a few elite schools! What about the rest of the schools across the country?
How do they manage?
The new generation parents join the children in schools expecting to see dynamic teachers who are qualified, experienced, tech savvy with great PR skills and in short- super teachers !
So what are schools to do? Train the housewives? Or groom the rural and small town people with B Ed degrees ? This results in teaching gaps because the social and economic context of the student is different from that of the teachers.
Who wants to be a teacher????
In the last 20 years that I have been actively working in the teaching field, I am yet to see any parent aspiring to make their child into a teacher – the same is the case with students too.
Except for .1% of them, rest of them have taken up careers other than teaching. Teachers may be role models to many students but that influence does not result in young people taking up teaching profession.
My child …a teacher???
Perhaps parents don’t encourage their children to take up teaching career as it is not very highly paying job. Young people don’t take it up because none of their adults have shown the value of it or nobody depicted it as a challenging course. May be the teachers also need to highlight the importance of this profession instead of encouraging everyone to take up the only lucrative lines.
What we are not seeing !!!!
What the parents and young people need to see is the exponential growth of teaching career across the world. In the last 4 years that I have been associated with international education I interacted with many educators from different countries.
When I met these professionals, I realized the kind of professionalism and prospects involved in teaching career. Most of them have travelled to at least 4 countries within the first 6 years of their teaching careers.
They work in international schools, conduct training sessions, attend seminars, members of research projects and they are globe trotters !
We in India will take some more time to regard teaching as a highly technical profession with numerous opportunities. Our course curriculum in Indian BEd needs to be revamped to suit the needs of a 2010 classroom.
Not just MS.. B Ed or D Ed M Ed also can be done in US or…
Instead of sending young people to US only to do MS, we should encourage them to take up courses in education and gain qualifications in teaching. The curriculum for BEd courses in US, UK and Australia is highly contemporary and suitable to the needs of coming generations.
At a time when international schools are seeking qualified teachers, and International Organizations and MNCs are taking up training the teachers of the underprivileged in a large scale, the employability potential is very high.
Needless to say that placements for teachers with such qualifications will also be very attractive.
Imagine all engineers coming back and teaching A B C D with tools !!!
The world does not need engineers alone, it needs teachers too ! Imagine if no one takes up teaching as a profession now, we will have chaos in classrooms resulting in the destruction of society.
In Australia there is a shortage of carpenters because everyone is choosing high end careers. The result is that the government announced high remuneration for carpenters and today a carpenter earns more than an engineer there !
Even if we have to believe in the idea that all engineers will develop such technology where we can make do with virtual classrooms, we still need teachers to develop the learning material for that software.
People…take up teaching for heaven’s sake !!!!
More than any other profession this line needs, sensible and balanced people with humanistic approach and cross domain knowledge.
I hope that all those graduates in different fields who are waiting for some seismic shift in corporate employability will take up courses in teaching and get into classrooms.
I also hope that young people in colleges will explore more about the teacher training courses in foreign universities !
I sincerely hope that all those parents who are pledging their houses in banks to send their children to far off shores for MS, will do the same for teacher training !
Sustainability of values and society can be achieved only through education. And if we do not have educators, I guess the very fabric of the society is in danger. I encourage young people to take up teaching profession and leave your own signature footprints on this planet.
On the flipside
making the best out of their last choice
Teaching career is the last choice for the young, helpless choice for some people, and no choice for schools except for recruiting these people and making best out of their last choices.
Even if we recruit teachers with BEd degrees, the curriculum which gave them that degree is so outdated that they can actually teach in a 1970 classroom, certainly not a 2010 classroom.
Curriculum and content in teachers’ training and students’ learning- both need an immediate uplift failing which we will keep churning our mediocre minds who thrive on rote memory.
What Obama doesn’t know…
Obama is getting worried that too many jobs are being outsourced to India and that too many Indians are hijacking the jobs in US.
He implored his educational planners to revamp their education system to make Americans mug up math and science so that the jobs stay with them and do not cross the American shores.
Poor man, he only sees the numbers not the quality !
What he probably did not see is that the quality of American curriculum is actually so high that only those Americans who have the mettle and genius reach the university levels. The percentage of people may be small but the performance of those is relatively high.
Whereas we in India, have large number of people graduating from every nook and corner because our curriculum does not focus on concepts !
Therefore mugging up and rote memory are the routes to getting degrees but not knowledge. Owing to this large number of Indians are enabled with suitable degrees to take up lower, middle and upper middle level jobs in the industry.
Because of our large numbers it appears like Indians are everywhere.
If the Indian curriculum is revamped and reoriented towards concepts,
I suppose Obama has a great reason to worry then !
Until then he need not worry that Indians are the hijackers. He can be rest assured that we are only taking up the lower and middle level jobs and all the reins are actually in the hands of his own people!
Who will bell the cat ????
Revamping and reorienting the Indian curriculum..who will bell the cat? Honorable HRD Minister Kapil Sibal or NCERT or NCF or who ?
I don’t expect teachers or school managements asking for it because they are too busy running a system prepared by somebody.
Teachers’ concerns are limited to completing the syllabus than questioning its veracity and the Managements’ concerns are limited to making school commercially viable !
And certainly not those student unions who have no clue about what is education ! with their intellectual abilities , they can at best call for Bandhs or separate states- a new curriculum or content is beyond their intellectual imagination.
Parents ??? They do not have time to think so deeply about it because they are busy looking at advertisements of schools that get best results. For them education is only a quantification tool- marks !
Students? I wonder how many students have time to think about the need to learn Magnetism or French revolution, because they are too busy mastering lesson 1 2 3 4 5 6 etc., etc., many times they don’t even know the names of the topics they are learning..they can recognize them only by the number of that lesson in the textbook ! Their ignorance is bliss for all concerned !
Guess I have to make do with what little I can within the realms of my school and feel satisfied that at least I am causing a drop in the ocean.