“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”– Khalil Gibran.
Some say that teaching is not simply a profession but it is a calling. Teachers see what everyone fails to see, they believe when nobody ever did and they tell us not to settle for mediocrity. Teachers change lives. In a world which is constantly forcing you to become everything that you are not and where you are surrounded by impostors, teachers help you march to the beat of your own drum and that’s how they change lives.
Teachers are the heart of education system. In a country like India that is known for its diverse and complex education system, teachers are extremely important. In fact, the National Policy on Education, 1986 says that, “The status of the teacher reflects the socio-cultural ethos of a society; it is said that no people can rise above the level of its teachers.” But in our country this is a dream unfulfilled.
According to a PROBE report, teacher absenteeism plays a significant role in the failure of Government schools in India.
District Information System for education (DISE) states that, out of every five primary teachers, one is unqualified. A primary teacher spells apple as ‘apil’ and Sunday as ‘sunde’. This reflects the quality of teachers in our country.
However, everything is easier said than done. Teachers in our country say that, teaching is not a cake walk and often find it difficult to cope with diversity of our educational system. Teachers are not appreciated for their work, by any means at all and as a consequence they are demotivated.
According to Right to Education Act, the student to teacher ratio has to be 30:1. Although this is considered to be optimal, the current average student to teacher ratio is far from ideal and due to this classroom management becomes difficult. These invariably over populated classrooms take a toll on students, as they do not receive any individual or personal care. Crumbling infrastructure of schools, lack of resource materials, proper training are huge stumbling blocks and they create hostile environment in schools. Our education curriculum concentrates on rote learning, there is little scope for activity based learning, and teachers feel that the curriculum must be more relevant.
Teacher training must be improved. Changes in the current curriculum must be made so that teachers can teach beyond the book. Teachers should be able to focus on attaining holistic development rather than standardized test scores. More importantly, teachers need to be appreciated for their work because teaching is exhausting and demanding. It is high time for us to understand that teachers matter. Teachers matter because the future is in their classroom, they matter because they can build a better world just by doing their job and they matter because they change lives.
“Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.” -Joyce Meyer.