Let teachers teach only
The rest can be done by others also
COMMENT BY HASSAN ZAINAGIREE
Few years back a Division Bench of Supreme Court of India, consisting of Justice S P Sinha and Justice H.S Bedi, delivered a significant judgment in direction of preserving the educational atmosphere in government-run institutions and making it immune from governmental interventions. The Honorable judges exempted teaching community from attending any non-academic activity which, inevitably, makes classes suffer. The Division Bench in unambiguous terms declared that teachers cannot be assigned election duty, census duty or made part of polio-drops-taking campaign. The court decreed that these are non-academic activities and engaging teachers in such activities are bound to affect the teaching-learning process. Taking cognizance of the fact that as most of the students in these institutions hail from backward and poor families the court concedes that it is this class of society which suffers the most.
The judgment not only goes in synch with the demand of the teaching community, which they have been consistently making for the last so many decades in this respect, it does social justice too. The verdict, in the eyes of law brings students studying in government schools at par with those of private schools. The verdict plainly disapproves of the discriminatory mindset of the ruling class which it maintains in letting academic activities go undisturbed in private institutions which mostly provide education to affluent sections of the society.
Limping already due to lack of infrastructure and non-seriousness of the government, pulling teachers out of the schools and line them in rendering the poll or census duty, which other wings of the state can do as well, the government of its own hands is accumulating the tragedy of decline in the educational standard in schools. And thus razors a proverbial barber’s cut on the head of a bald poor. Removing teachers out of “natural habitat” aggravates the miseries the schooling in government institutions already suffers from.
The sad part of the story is that instead of taking some corrective measures towards streamlining the educational system, the government seems deriving a sadistic pleasure in letting the poor students remain educationally poor and lack competitive strands to come close to the lucky rich studying in elite schools. Otherwise, it couldn't have slept over the Supreme Court ruling.
Not that teachers wear sacred robes and involving them in any non-teaching activity is sacrilegious. The point is different. It is the nature of the duty which makes a teacher inseparable from an institution. An academic session, nay a single lesson, let go waste for the sake of an exercise that government can carry out in utilizing its personnel from various other departments, amounts to spoiling the future of a generation. A crime, unpardonable. A road can wait for the patch-work, bouldering and macadamization; an irrigation scheme can be postponed; horticulture and agriculture sector can bear abandonment of its pursuits; engineering sector can afford a delay in construction of projects. Even revenue-generation can be put on hold. But education sector is too delicate to suffer these brunts. You can make plant or metal ‘talk’ the moment you want to. It never loses its “vocabulary”. But a teacher-less or teacher-deficient class fades in orphanhood the moment this umbilical chord like relationship gets severed. You can’t make good the loss which is irreparable.
Like medical profession, teaching deals with human life and carries out the messianic mission of building the nation. No assignment, no duty is far more superior than teaching the children of the poor who can't afford to go elsewhere.
Already our educational institutions are under-staffed, this way we are worsening the damage. For God’s sake spare government teachers from carrying out such duties and honor Supreme Court ruling. You have alternative human source available. Election, census, and such other activities are non-academic and can be conducted by non-teaching community as well. Don’t disturb the atmospherics of the school. Let the poor too have a feeling of sense of equality, equality in social justice, in treatment. They too have the right to crane their necks up in looking at a black-board while squatting at the coir matting in crowded class rooms.
I dedicate this piece to the professionalism of a Principal of Government Higher Secondary School, who pressed me hard to raise voice against government’s unchanged attitude towards something that must have snatched sleep from all of us.
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Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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