Competent, sincere and dedicated teachers are a rarity and are definitely a dying community today. Gone are the days when teachers felt that each student was their sole responsibility and it was in their hands to shape them into good citizens. Parents as well as grandparents worked along with teachers in instilling strong values.
Today things are no longer the same. Teachers are blamed for not being conscientious in their efforts and are held responsible for many mishaps. Are we justified in doing so? This is a question that needs a lot of contemplation. What could be the reason for such a transformation in the attitude of teachers? The answers to this are innumerable. In the past, teaching was considered a noble and an ideal option for women as they could work and also take care of their families. The profession, by itself, is no longer as stress-free as it was once. Teachers today are a harassed lot unlike our teachers of yesteryear.
They are expected to put in about 8-9 hours of teaching within cramped classrooms, housing about fifty to sixty students, which is no easy task. Added to this, they carry home loads and loads of papers to be corrected. Gone are the days when teachers could walk out of school along with their students. Today they are faced with remedial classes, innumerable staff meetings and parent teacher meetings after school hours. At the end of the day the pay packets that they carry back home are nothing short of crumbs. In today’s world of spiralling costs, it is impossible for a teacher to manage his or her household expenses. Unlike the corporate world, a teaching profession lacks even basic perquisites such as medical benefits, leave travel allowances, rent allowance and so on. The teaching community was envied for its three months of vacation in a year, too. Even that has been rudely snatched away!! Now teachers are expected to attend school during vacations for special classes and numerous other administrative errands.
Probably these are some factors that do not encourage able candidates to opt for a teaching career. Let us turn around and give a new hope to the teachers of our country so that they are able to give their best to our children. In future, let us celebrate teachers’ day with a new vigour, not by merely hosting programmes and carnivals but by giving them a fresh lease of a comfortable life. Let us derive pleasure in seeing each teacher go back home with a smile on their countenance. Let us give them their dues.
We may see a resurgence of our old team of passionate and dedicated teachers. Let us not forget, tomorrow’s citizens are in the hands of our teachers.