Invest in the teachers
There is a problem with our teachers, or may be the way we take professions. Everyone wants to be a doctor, engineer, pilot and (some even plan to be) lawyers. Nobody wants to be a teacher, except in those early fanciful years when our school teacher was the most beautiful, most kind person in our lives. Nobody wants to make her/his child a teacher
She entered the class room with great rage. These imps have hurt her best friend, and she could go to any length to avenge her. She shouted at them: rebuked them for their unholy upbringing, portrayed their bleak future and their shameful past, cursed and denounced them. She intended to deduct their marks – their ill-tempers cast a negative spell on their session marks. Their eyes were teary; their hearts sour. When I went for the lecture, the class room was a sorry figure. I came to know that some of the students were teasing their teacher (whose friend came before me to reprimand the sick minds) about her engagement, and she who lived in her own frog’s pool felt infuriated and complained to her high-tempered friend-cum-savior of the class injustice. I tried to console the students, but there was not one thing to grieve. Teachers are cruel; they know where to hit: she added injury to insult with the threat of marks deduction! No, it was not just a threat; it was an announcement. Teachers sometimes mean what they say.
It has been four years now. Teaching, of course, was never on my list. But, they say bad things happen to good people! And, I became a teacher bound with so many others of my kind that it seems almost impossible to change the impression of this lot alone.
There is a problem with our teachers, or may be the way we take professions. Everyone wants to be a doctor, engineer, pilot and (some even plan to be) lawyers. Nobody wants to be a teacher, except in those early fanciful years when our school teacher was the most beautiful, most kind person in our lives. Nobody wants to make her/his child a teacher.
Let me make a clarification here. We want our daughters to become doctors so that they could marry doctors or similar profiles (women don’t marry mere men!), while we envision them to be house doctors, nursing babies and cooking meals. If they ought to be good wives, we would have better sent them to home-economics college. But, wait! Our boys want their wives to be highly qualified so that they could complain of their upbringing which never acquainted them with the formula to make the perfect round roti! There is something very abominable about the girls who qualify for a skilled field and later abort it for merrily settling down. When it comes to opting a profession (of course children are never old enough to decide what they want!), we want our girls to be teachers which is a motherly, respected profession befitting none but the womankind. Associate the motherly side with any other profession, and we will find it befitting for them.
Shockingly, most of the male teachers who I know are not very fond of their profession. Most of them are disillusioned because they did not or could not pass the competition exam or something of the same status. Interestingly, most of the female teachers who I know are bad teachers, particularly those who teach subjects other than arts and humanities. Since their field knowledge and practical experience is zero, they cannot do better.
These disheartened male and underqualified female teachers make up for their deficiencies by either humiliating the innocuous students or by bestowing them with unjustified grades. As a result, we see students getting 96 out of 100 in English! In another instance, we find the whole class getting flunked. I even know many teachers who openly abuse their students, threaten them and bully them. Well, they are merely manifesting how great a failure they are: the bigger the failure the louder the rant. Worst is the contentment of our parents at the behaviour of these despicable teachers: the more aggressive the better!
Another undermining factor of our modern education system is this ‘visiting’ thing. Once upon a time there used to be visiting doctors who were applauded for the number of patients/clients they could hook. Now a visiting teacher is evaluated on the number of classes s/he can grasp. The more the classes, the better the teacher. And, all they do is count and run since there is always less time and more lectures. The two female teachers that I earlier referred to were visiting faculty.
Last but not the least, the students. Oh god. How they change from institution to institution. Since I have taught in four leading universities, I can maintain that they are doomed. If teachers are bad, students are worse. They can do anything, go to any length for getting marks, except studying. Buttering, sugaring, flattering, gifts, FB comments, anything as long as s/he teaches you. If teachers are apathetic; students are dispathetic. They think that the degree is going to lead them somewhere. No, it won’t. Had degree been everything, their engineer teachers would have been doing something better. There is so much misconception about university degrees and so much overrating of personal skills that once they make their CV, students are bound to suffer from having nothing to write to knowing not how to write.
Fortunately, pedagogy has become a very compatible field recently. Highly paid pedants who have less hours to teach and more money to bag. Fortune is good, but teachers should learn to respect it. With this advancement, more and more graduates are getting allured; as a result, the criterion of hiring teachers is changing. The worse aspect of teaching is hiring those fresh graduates who have yet to grow their whiskers. A teacher who does not look like one can hardly turn the tables in a classroom, and we are bound to see amateur teachers dinning out with students, and some even dating them.
Initially, it was Bachelors then it was Masters, and nowadays it is MPhil. There is no denying the fact that degree should be the pre-requisite of any vacancy; however, keeping in mind the institutions we have and the MPhils we produce, other things should be credited too, for example, a demonstration of what one is capable of. I know teachers who could hardly stand on their feet and serve as APs. And, after the demo, a teacher training workshop should be mandatory, not the standard one that teaches everyone how to teach every subject, but the specialised ones, arranged semesterly (that is the new quarterly). We have not just to hire teachers, we have to invest in them too for the better the teachers, the better the students!