From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : teacher concerns and issues
- 5 September is teacher’s day. Teachers’ Day or Shikshak Divas marks the birthday of the country’s first Vice President (1952–1962) who went on to become the second President of India (1962-1967), a scholar, philosopher, Bharat Ratna awardee, a highly-respected teacher and prolific statesman – Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.
- Less attractive career: It seems that teaching the young is no longer an attractive profession because systemic conditions are so discouraging. It points towards the reforms that education now requires.
- Diversion from teaching: Teaching children is not regarded as a serious profession. Non-teaching duties are routinely assigned, and now the digital regime has washed away the few traces of professional autonomy even in the best of private schools.
- Bureaucratic over vigilance: So deep is official suspicion of their integrity that many states have installed CCTV cameras in classrooms. That is not the only form of insult teacher’s face. They have little power to assert their professional dignity in the face of bureaucratic or managerial authority.
- Marginalisation by coaching institutes: The Indian school teacher now faces new social and economic forces. Coaching institutions have marginalised the secondary-level science teacher. All over the country, children are allowed to bunk school to attend NEET and JEE coaching classes. Science and math teachers were, in any case, aware that their pedagogic effectiveness would be measured by an unreformed examination system.
- Reliability issue due to internet overuse: Social Science teachers are coping with a different kind of challenge to justify their knowledge and interpretation. Children’s access to the internet exposes them to a wilderness of socio-political ideas and information. It is not easy for social science teachers to convince children that they are more reliable than a YouTube video or a WhatsApp message.
Catchy line in this context for value addition
Jinke jiwan me guru nahi, unka jiwan abhi shuru nahi.
How to address these challenges
- Supporting teacher control over curriculum and instruction: Classical top-down school leadership needs to be re-examined, and teachers must be recognized as professionals who have expertise to make good learning decisions for their students.
- Establish adequate pay scales and financial incentives: Compensation systems signal what skills and attributes are valued and what kinds of contributions are rewarded.
- Establish and conduct personnel evaluation systems: Teachers need regular feedback and accurate information on job expectations.
- Provide adequate planning time for teachers: While all teachers work under tremendous time constraints, experienced teachers generally are able to complete their planning more quickly. For new teachers, adequate planning time can allay feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Provide a structure for team planning and teaching: Teachers often report feeling isolated in their classrooms. Team planning and teaching can be an important step in retaining a high quality teaching force.
- Since the teacher is the pivot of the entire educational system and is the main catalytic agent for introducing desirable changes in the teaching learning process, all attempts need be made for motivating teachers to become innovative and creative. It goes without saying that a self-motivated and really industrious teacher can utilise his own resources to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge and skills.
Q. It seems that teaching the young is no longer an attractive profession because systemic conditions are so discouraging. Critically analyse.