Mashter: The Tragic Hero!
Today is the Teachers’ Day, and today we need to ask certain questions
TEACHERS' DAY BY NAILA NEELOFAR
Ridicule or denigration , this absolutely is not. It is a tribute to all those maladjusted qualified people who have been failed by the system . Many disturbing questions strike our mind such as why can’t education in our society be recognised as an investment rather than as a consumption. Today is the Teachers’ Day and many other such questions shall go unanswered . Nevertheless we cannot stop ourselves from asking questions. Why has teaching been reduced to a profession rather than a vocation ? Why can’t education in our society be acknowledged as a resource which can march nations on the path of development and prosperity ? Great minds believe that it would be dramatic to say that societies that do not value education would be annihilated but unconditionally would watch a steep decline of their civilizations.
Unfortunately teaching in our society has been unjustly compartmentalised with the result children are never encouraged to become nation builders ,therefore, the first biggest tragedy results in the making of teachers by chance and not by choice. This compromise arrests the ignition of the passion of teaching and learning making the whole process boring and redundant . Why has our society not been able to cultivate an aptitude for teaching?
Though Higher Education offers attractive opportunities and packages , still people who make it there never know they want to be teachers. It is easy to teach at that level as the students are grown up, roll is lesser, infrastructure is better , work load is not much , package is arresting ,teachers are specialised and students are mature . What’s appalling is the way school teaching has been maltreated in spite of the fact that the conditions are absolutely reverse as compared to the Higher Education. Teaching in the Higher Education as a contractual lecturer seemed much easier than teaching my son particularly writing when I ‘ve to be loud and repetitive resulting in sore throat and headache and in between I ‘ve to answer off the track questions and narrate a dozen stories so that his little hands do not lose the grip of the pencil.
Teaching at the elementary level is a herculean task in the real sense. Arresting the attention of these immature but agile creatures is a grilling job. Looking into their innocent eyes who can see no sense in teaching and learning makes the endeavour all the more challenging as it is at this stage a firm foundation of a good student can be laid. Restructuring the Educational Policy at the school level is the need of the hour as one cannot afford to overlook the challenges of time management, patience and pedagogical expertise that help in building better students , for which the pre requisite is to build better teachers .
In developed countries such as US bad teachers are fired and new ones hired. The process is called deselection as they believe if they don’t change the personnel, all they will be doing is changing chairs. But one cannot make comparison of the system there and here. The difference is that our teachers are the product of mere chance who have failed in other fields , therefore rendering the profession to a run of a mill. It is the circumstances that makes them Mashters who often have to suffer rent loss with their transfers . However the situation demands to lend it the dignity it deserves and one of the suggestive ways could be to conduct entrance test like the ones held for medicine and engineering so that people learn to cultivate an aptitude for teaching and do not take it a for granted profession . This way teachers can be trained to play multidimensional roles that of a counsellor, friend, disciplinarian , examiner, evaluator etc. so that the extracurricular activities of teachers like knitting and partying are automatically shunned.
Schemes like RMSA and SSA that provide enormous funds to education sector can only bear fruits if teaching as a profession is taken seriously and passionately. An accountable school teacher deserves package more than that of a University Professor as he would receive the child at seven and give it away at seventeen, with receptive, inquisitive, fertile and imaginative mind. The cream of the society would become teachers in whose hands lies the future of the nation. This could even pave way for eradicating illiteracy and, therefore, enrolling more and more students in colleges along with their profiles describing personality and aptitude of the student and thereby producing more human resource whose talents can be harnessed to build a progressive nation. The thought may be well said than done given the real scenario of the system with reference to resources , infrastructure and human resource but it could somewhere pave the way for the state to get rid of DO KAI DO teachers . This is only doable if the state is ready to invest in Education and acknowledge it as a great resource to build a knowledge based society . Can the government consider the idea of creating a model school with model teachers aiming to create model students who could become a role model for others?
The government should revisit its policy of producing RTs and contractuals who in the long run become the frustrated victims of a failed state. Solution, bring in gravity in the profession , therefore, is always preferable than management in the long run. However on this day a round of applause to all those teachers whose students have rewarded them by respecting them and making them feel proud. I also get an opportunity to extend gratitude to all my teachers especially my school teachers as the moments I spent with them are etched on my memory making me nostalgic often.
Naila Neelofar is Academic Officer English ( J&K BOSE).
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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