Monday, 26 August 2013

Should teaching be a lifelong profession?

Should teaching be a lifelong profession?
Last two months I have been working in the government schools as part of a CSR project. The schools belong both to rural and urban areas. This experience made me skeptic about people pursuing teaching as a lifelong profession. It is true that there are inspiring teachers; many others are there to spend each moment with passion, commitment and dedication with their children to impart education in the true sense. Despite this noble act of the few, the situation in government school continues to be grim and a tragedy for the future generation to come. When I write about the pathetic condition of government schools, whether the private schools fulfill their noble objectives of educating the younger generation is a debatable topic.

I could not help writing what I could see in the government schools both in rural and urban areas. And the query that overwhelms my mind is if teaching should be pursued as a lifelong profession? If yes, should an unemployed youth be allowed to become a teacher having acquired a certificate for pursuing the profession without the genuine interest in molding the young minds, interest in behavioural modification of children, quest for innovative teaching practices, sensitivity and sensibility to deal with the children who needs special care and attention and above all having no interest in acting as a facilitator for a better world, and a more civilized humanity. Or shouldn’t there be a system to detect the ‘employees’ who are incompetent and apathetic towards the budding minds and to place them in some other departments according to their interest and skills? It is high time that all the aspiring teachers were not allowed to be employed unless they hold the true passion for the noble profession. And also there should be a monitoring system that detects the teachers who do not evince a strong desire to impart education to the children. It should not be the last resort of an unemployed youth to secure his /her life by jeopardizing the possibility of growth and development of promising offspring of our nation. Another pertinent question is how long one can sustain the real spirit of an inspiring teacher? Shouldn’t our education system be empowered with vibrant imaginative and committed human resource? Shouldn’t there be a system that stimulates teachers to shift to some other profession when they find no more valuable to the student community? And it is quite unlikely to expect somebody to quit the profession voluntarily on the recognition of their lethargic service delivery unless there is a system to rehabilitate them.

If our government and civil society act vigorously with a sense of purpose we can transform the school campus a place where children are nurtured for their self-development and progress of the nation. The role of community is very crucial. Otherwise we will find teachers ‘wobbling’ to the classroom yawning on the way, chanting content of lessons in the classroom and controlling the children with ‘weapons’ of thrashing. They will hold a text book, a chalk, old manuscripts if needed to complete the half an hour session in a ritualistic manner. In such schools the staff room is not a place to discuss effective ways to deal with various issues of children, professional development, the issues of class room discipline, innovative methods to impart education, remedial measures to improve the academic performance of children, improving the infrastructure, ways to ignite the young minds, and above all searching for creative methods while dealing with children, through interdependence. Such employees engaged in teaching will be least bothered about the seriousness and significance of being a teacher to several children. They will not recognize the value of relationship, creativity and need of imparting principles of life and kindling dreams in the minds of children. They will work like a cog in a machine until their retirement.

Establishing a monitoring system at schools, employing genuine teachers, prospect for their professional development, opportunity for shifting to other departments if they are found unfit for the teaching profession by themselves or by the monitoring system and ultimately measures to ensure the presence of self-motivated teaching community on school campus will definitely pave the way for the emergence of a brighter generation.

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